About Painted Bunting
Small, plump-bodied songbird with heavy, conical bill. The male is multicolored, with underparts, shoulders and rump bright red, wings and tail duller reddish, greenish head, neck and cheeks violet-blue; back glossy green; bill yellowish-brown; eyes dark brown with red eye ring; legs dark brown. Female has green upperparts, dusky yellow to amber underparts and yellow eye ring.
The Painted Buntings breed in the spring and early summer. The female builds a deep cup nest of grasses, stems and leaves, lined with hair and grasses, woven around supports in a bush, vine or tangle of Spanish moss high in a tree. They have 3-5 white eggs, finely speckled with chestnut-red and purple. The young are taken care of by both the male and female. The brood is fed by the male while the female starts the next brood. They may have up to 4 broods a year.
The male Painted Bunting is one of North America’s most brillantly colored birds. He is often surprisingly difficult to spot, though, because he is shy. He spends much of his time hidden among dense cover outside the breeding season.
In the spring, males may be more obvious, especially when they perch in full sunlight to sing and are revealed in all their glory.
This bird has a French nickname. The male’s lovely plumage earned the Painted Bunting the popular name “nonpareil,” French for “without equal.” It also made it a popular cagebird until federal laws gave it protection.