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6 Beautiful Bunting Birds You Should Know

Meet the bunting bird family, which includes colorful members, including the varied bunting and lark bunting. See photos to help you identify these birds.

indigo bunting birdsCourtesy Lorri Howski

Indigo Bunting

“In June I was walking down a trail at a local park in Milwaukee county, Wisconsin. I could hear an indigo bunting singing. In the distance I could hear a faint reply. I focused on the male as he was displaying courtship behavior. As the female’s calls came closer, his wings started flapping and I captured this cool photo,” says Lorri Howski. Attract indigo buntings with their favorite foods.

painted bunting birdsCourtesy Tim Vasquez

Painted Bunting

Painted buntings in West Texas are an all-time favorite for bird enthusiasts. I particularly love their gorgeous song and how they love to show it off. This photo shows how tenacious a singing painted bunting can be,” says Tim Vasquez of San Angelo, Texas. Females and young male painted buntings sport a more subdued greenish yellow. If you live in south-central or southeastern states, set out millet seed to attract them.

252274979 1 Emily Hamson Bnb Bypc2020Courtesy Emily Hamson

Lazuli Bunting

“I have a bird feeder on the tree outside my kitchen window. Last May, during quarantine, I had been trying for a few days to photograph a goldfinch in this exact spot while the blossoms were blooming, so I had my camera at the ready. I was about to go do some household duties when I saw this lazuli bunting fly to the feeder. They are rare at my house, so I grabbed my camera. As soon as he flew to the tree, I grabbed this shot, which was good because the next second he flew away!” says Emily Hamson. Check out inspiring pictures of jndigo buntings.

snow buntingCourtesy Phyllis Terchanik

Snow Bunting

” This is a snow bunting, only the second time that I’ve seen one. I love the colors in its feathers and the reflection of the sky in its eye. A flower seed is still clinging to its beak, as if I caught the bird by surprise while eating a snack,” says Phyllis Terchanik of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Psst—don’t miss these wonderful winter bird photos.

Wild lark bunting perched on barbed wire fence Pawnee National Grasslands Coloradomilehightraveler/Getty Images

Lark Bunting

A lark bunting searches for food in the Pawnee National Grasslands in northern Colorado, while perched on a barbed wire fence. Look for the lark bunting, a Great Plains specialty species, fluttering above the grass while also pouring out a song of whistles, trills and rough notes. Learn about prairie birds: the stunning species of the Grasslands.

Male Varied Bunting, Arizonadrferry/Getty Images

Varied Bunting

A male varied bunting sings in Box Canyon, Santa Rita Mountains, in southeastern Arizona. Don’t miss these photos of breathtaking blue colored birds.

09 Cheryljohnson Bbxjuly19Courtesy Cheryl Johnson

Bonus: A Hybrid Bunting

“One of my favorite birding and photography hotspots is South Llano River State Park in Junction, Texas. There are four marvelous bird blinds with incredible diversity at each one. The bunting birds always create quite the stir when they show up. Last summer, bird-watchers were especially thrilled to see this bird, a very rare hybrid between a painted bunting and varied bunting,” says Cheryl Johnson of Victoria, Texas.

Next, check out 4 vibrant tanager bird species you should know.

Lori Vanover
Lori Vanover is the senior digital editor for Birds & Blooms. She has a bachelor's degree in agricultural and environmental communications from the University of Illinois. Lori enjoys growing vegetables and flowers for pollinators in her backyard gardens. She also is an avid bird-watcher.