Beak of the Week – Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea)
Family: Cardinalidae

Feeling blue because you’ve been staying inside all the time recently? You’re not alone! Indigo Buntings spend all of their time outside, and they’re quite blue too.

Indigo Buntings are in the same family as Cardinals and Grosbeaks – a group that includes many vibrantly colored species. However, Indigo Buntings are easy to recognize because their vibrant blue coloring stands out against almost any leafy background.

Adult male Indigo Buntings are deep blue all over, and their habit of perching on the exposed tips of branches also makes them very conspicuous when singing. Female Indigo Buntings are mostly brown at first glance, but they have blue patches in their wings and tail that make them easy to spot in flight.

Indigo Buntings are just now beginning their journey northward across the United States, so keep watch in your backyard and perhaps one will stop by.

By Aidan Healey, Conservation Technician
Photos by Greg Lavaty

Visit our Bird Gallery to learn about other Texas birds!

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