Varied bunting

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Varied bunting
Passerina versicolorAOP02CA.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Cardinalidae
Genus: Passerina
P. versicolor
Binomial name
Passerina versicolor
(Bonaparte, 1838)

The varied bunting (Passerina versicolor) is a species of songbird in the cardinal family, Cardinalidae.

Passerina versicolor

The range of the varied bunting stretches from the southern parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas in the United States south throughout Mexico as far as Oaxaca. Small disjunct populations occur in the state of Chiapas in Mexico and southeastern Guatemala;[2] this stocky bird has a short tail and rounded bill. It is 11–14 centimetres (4.3–5.5 in) long, has a wingspan of 21 centimetres (8.3 in), and weighs 11–13 grams (0.39–0.46 oz).[3] Breeding males are purple-red with a bright red patch on the nape, which becomes browner in the fall. Females are plain light brown, resembling the female indigo bunting but lacking streaking on the breast. Varied buntings inhabit deserts and xeric shrublands, preferring thorny brush thickets, thorn forests, scrubby woodlands, and overgrown clearings, they forage on the ground for insects, fruit, and seeds. Varied buntings weave open-cup nests of grass and spider webs in the outer branches of thorny shrubs,[3] usually near water.[2] Females lay two to five bluish-white to bluish-green eggs,[3] which they incubate for about fourteen days; the young are fully feathered after 10 days, and are ready to leave the nest several days later.[2]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Passerina versicolor". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Varied Bunting". 2007 Audubon WatchList. National Audubon Society. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
  3. ^ a b c "Varied Bunting Life History". All About Birds. Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Retrieved 2009-07-15.

Further reading[edit]


  • Groschupf, K. D., and C. W. Thompson. 1998. Varied Bunting (Passerina versicolor). In The Birds of North America, No. 351 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.


  • Klicka JT. Ph.D. (1999). A molecular perspective on the evolution of North American songbirds. University of Minnesota, United States—Minnesota.


  • Klicka J, Fry AJ, Zink RM & Thompson CW. (2001). A cytochrome-b perspective on Passerina bunting relationships. Auk. vol 118, no 3. p. 611-623.
  • Thompson WL. (1968). The Songs of 5 Species of Passerina Passerina-Leclancherii Passerina-Ciris Passerina-Versicolor Passerina-Cyanea Passerina-Amoena. Behaviour. vol 31, no 3/4. p. 261-287.
  • Woolfenden GE & Van Deventer M. (2006). First record of the varied bunting from Florida. Florida Field Naturalist. vol 34, no 1. p. 1-3.

External links[edit]