Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena)

Lazuli Bunting

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Cardinalidae | [latin] Passerina amoena | [UK] Lazuli Bunting | [FR] Pape lazuli | [DE] Lazulifink | [ES] Gorrion cabeziazul | [NL] Lazuli-gors


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

Male: A small, turquoise blue finch, suggesting a Bluebird (blue upperparts, pale cinnamon across breast and sides), but with two white wing bars. Female:
Rather nondescript; a small bird with an unstreaked brown back, a trace of blue in wings and tail, and two pale wing bars (stronger than in female Indigo Bunting). Hybrids are frequent where range overlaps that of Indigo.

Listen to the sound of Lazuli Bunting

[audio: Bunting.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 21 cm wingspan max.: 23 cm
size min.: 13 cm size max.: 15 cm
incubation min.: 11 days incubation max.: 12 days
fledging min.: 9 days fledging max.: 11 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 4  


North America : West USA


Open brush, streamside shrubs.
Breeds in brushy areas with open grassy ground nearby, such as patches of scrub oak, chaparral, streamside thickets, sometimes in areas of sagebrush or pinyon-juniper woods. In migration and winter, occurs in weedy fields, open woods, brushy places.


Male sings to defend nesting territory. Where Lazuli and Indigo buntings overlap in range, they will defend territories against each other.
Nest: Placed in shrubs, vines, or low trees, usually 2-4′ above the ground, f
irmly attached to vertical stems or to forked branch. Nest (built by female) is an open cup of grass, weeds, leaves, lined with fine grass and sometimes animal hair.
Eggs: 3-5, usually 4. Pale bluish white, unmarked. Incubation is by female only, about 12 days.
Young: At some nests, nestlings are fed entirely by the female, although at others the male helps to feed them. Young leave the nest about 10-
12 days after hatching. Male may feed the young more after they fledge, while female begins second nesting attempt. 2 broods per year, perhaps sometimes 3.

Feeding habits

Mostly seeds and insects.
More than half of summer diet may be insects, including grasshoppers, caterpillars, beetles, true bugs, wild bees, ants, and others. Also eats many seeds, mainly those of grasses, al
so weed seeds and waste grain; seeds may make up most of winter diet. Young are fed mostly insects.
Behavior: Forages mainly on the ground, also up in low growth. May bend grass stalks down to the ground to eat the seeds from them. Sometimes takes insects from foliage while hovering.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Lazuli Bunting status Least Concern


Southwestern Canada, western United States to central North Dakota, western Nebraska, central Oklahoma. Winters in Mexico. Migration:
Fall migration begins early, with many birds on the move by late July. Migrants stray east of breeding range on Great Plains, especially in spring.

Distribution map

Lazuli Bunting distribution range map

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