Painted Bunting
Passerina ciris
The Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) is a common nesting bird of much of the south central U.S. including Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. It also occurs in some areas of the south east such as Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas. Even though it is a common bird, I am surprised at how many people have never seen one. During May and June its song can be heard easily in Texas and with a little searching the observer can usually spot the singer. The photo shown on the right of a singing male was taken in May, 2002, on a private ranch in Kenedy Co., Texas with a Canon EOS 1V and Canon EF500mm F4 IS lens with a 2X extender from a Gitzo tripod on Fuji Velvia film.
The image here was taken with a Canon EOS 1D Mark II and EF 600mm F/4L IS lens and 2X extender in Austin, Travis Co., Texas in May, 2005.
The next fourteen shots were taken in spring and early summer, 2006, in Hidalgo Co., Texas with a Canon EOS 1D Mark II and EF 600 mm F/4 L IS lens with a 1.4X or a 2X extender. I will add a small caption with some of the shots. The male on the right had just arrived on territory.
This bird is in female plumage.
The male here was probably a migrant, briefly visiting a small water hole.
The image here shows a male bathing at a water hole on a hot April day.
The next two shots show a singing male on territory.
The next three shots show female plumaged birds.
Male Painted Buntings in their first breeding season still look like females. The singing young male here successfully held a territory in May and June 2006.
A dapper male sings on a May, 2006, morning in Hidalgo Co., Texas.
This male was singing from a favorite perch in the rich, early morning light of a May, 2006, morning.
The male Painted Bunting on the right was near Rio Grande City, Starr Co., Texas, in May, 2010.