National Bird Day: Painted Buntings

January 5 is National Bird Day and one of the birds you can find at our parks’ during winter is the Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris)— a brightly colored songbird that is a common species of the coastal Southeast and south-central U.S. This species can be found in a variety of habitats, including shrublands, grasslands and wetlands, and can be attracted to your yard with feeders filled with white millet.  

The French name of this bird is nonpareil, meaning “without equal”, which is a way to describe its beautiful and distinctive plumage. The adult male Painted Bunting is known for its bright blue head, red breast and yellowish-green back. The females’ and immature/juvenile males’ appearance is bright yellowish green. Painted Buntings are a small songbird and measure about 5 to 6 inches and have a lifespan of 3 to 5 years, with the oldest recorded to have lived at least 12 years.

Painted Buntings are a species of bird in the cardinal family. They are monogamous and typically nest in shrubs or small trees. Both the male and female participate in building the nest, choosing a spot 3-6 feet off the ground, but when there is no vegetation, they can nest as high as 50 feet. These birds lay approximately 3 to 5 eggs, which hatch two weeks after incubation. They eat a variety of seeds and then switch to insects during breeding season, including grasses, weeds, grains, wheat, fig, caterpillars, beetles, flies, snails, and spiders.

Painted Buntings are an important member of Palm Beach County’s ecosystem and habitat. Although the Painted Bunting population is declining, you may be able to spot this bird in South Florida, especially at any of our three nature centers’ feeders during the winter until April. These birds are best seen early and late in the day and in darker covered areas around feeders, just like their allies, the Cardinals.

To learn about other bird species that are found at PBC Parks Nature Centers, watch our Animal Encounter series at PBC Parks TV on YouTube at

For more information, visit  

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