Indigo Bunting

Indigo BuntingDescription of the Indigo Bunting

The Indigo Bunting is a small bird, similar to a sparrow, and generally finch shaped.  The male Indigo Bunting is a beautiful electric blue in color with a slightly darker head and short silver beak. During their adolescence, the male Indigo Bunting may remind you of a bad tie-dye project, they are a very patchy brown and blue.  The female Indigo Bunting is brown in color and slightly darker on her back and wings than she is on her breast.

Molting and Longevity of the Indigo Bunting

The male Indigo Bunting will go through several partial and complete molts before achieving the bright blue that you are accustomed to seeing during breeding season.   Even as adults their molting patterns and annual timing will vary with each birds migration pattern.  It is common that they will migrate to Central America with speckled blue and brown feathers and slowly acquire their bright blue plumage through the winter.

Family Life of the Indigo Bunting

Upon arrival in the spring, the male Indigo Bunting will establish and defend it’s territory using song.  He may attract more than one mate into his territory.  The female Indigo Bunting will select a spot and built her nest on her own.  She will also care for her young up until they are read to leave the nest.  The male may step in to help at that point, especially if the female is preparing for a second brood.  They may have up to three broods per breeding season.

What do Indigo Buntings Eat

Indigo Buntings will often eat spiders and other small insects, especially during breeding season.  You will be able to attract them to your feeders with small seeds such as Nyjer.  Finch Feast is a great option for inviting the Indigo Bunting to your backyard.