Species of the Week: The Indigo Bunting

Photo by Adam Kalab

This week’s #SpeciesOfTheWeek is the Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea). Males are unmistakable with their bright blue plumage. Females are more inconspicuous with their plain brown plumage, which helps them blend into the brush. The female needs to be unnoticed by predators, as she does all the work to build the nest, incubate the eggs, and feed the babies. Nests are hidden in low shrubs, no more than one meter above the ground, and are home to two broods of three to four chicks. Buntings mainly eat insects but will supplement their diet with seeds and berries. They prefer edge habitats along open woodlands and old fields. In the park, a breeding pair has been seen around the Lally Homestead for the last several years and on the Silver Queen Mine Trail. Males mark their territory with their song and may frequently be heard singing along country roads in the spring and summer. In the fall, buntings will migrate up to 2,000 kilometres to their wintering grounds in Mexico and the Caribbean. The Indigo Bunting’s populations are abundant and stable, but they are at risk of habitat loss due to increasing urbanization. If you have any photos of these beautiful birds, feel free to share them with the hashtag  #SpeciesOfTheWeek so we can see them!

This entry was posted in Friends of Murphys Point, Murphys Point, Murphys Point Provincial Park, Species of the Week. Bookmark the permalink.

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