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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Painted Bunting -- Passerina ciris

RANGE: Breeds from southeastern New Mexico and southern Missouri south to southern Alabama and into Mexico, also along Atlantic Coast from southeast North Carolina south to central Florida. Winters from southeastern Texas, central Florida, the Bahamas, and Cuba south through Mexico to Panama.

STATUS: Locally common.

HABITAT: Inhabits open country with brushy and weedy fields, hedges, edges of woods, roadside shrubs, gullies, thickets along streambanks, shelterbelts, and gardens.

NEST: Nests in a variety of deciduous shrubs, small trees, and vines. Attaches shallow cup nest to twigs or other supporting vegetation, 3 to 9 feet above the ground, in bushes, low trees, or vine tangles. Raises two and sometimes three broods each year; susceptible to parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds.

FOOD: Mostly eats vegetable matter, which is gleaned from the ground or seed heads of grass, but also some animal matter (insects and a few spiders.)

REFERENCES: Bent 1968a, Harrison 1979, Johnsgard 1979, Sykes in Farrand 1983c, Terres 1980.

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