The Indigo Bunting is a stocky, sparrow-sized bird known for their striking and vibrant blue coloration. They have a conical silver-grey bill and a short rounded tail. During the breeding season, adult male Indigo Buntings are characterized by their stunning iridescent blue plumage and slightly deeper blue on their heads. During non-breeding seasons, they may appear patchy blue and brown. Females and juvenile indigo buntings are sparrow-sized but finchlike in appearance with a conical bill. They are brownish with faint streaking on the breast, a white throat, and sometimes a touch of blue on the wings, tail, or rump.
Indigo Buntings are shy birds that prefer quieter, less disturbed habitats. They breed in shrubby fields, farmland, dense groups of bushes or trees, and other dense foliage environments that aren’t covered by woodlands or forests. They nest in hedges, shrubs, and small trees alongside roads, streams, lakes, the borders between fields, and rural settlements.
Indigo Buntings primarily feed on seeds and insects. Offering a variety of seeds in your feeders is essential. Their favorite seeds include black oil sunflower seeds, Nyjer®, and white millet. They feel most comfortable feeding from tube, platform, and hopper feeders.
States and Regions Found
Indigo Buntings are prevalent throughout the Eastern United States from the Great Lakes and New England region, down to the Gulf Coast and Florida. You can also find them in the Central United States ranging from the Midwest down to Texas. Additionally, they can be spotted in certain regions of the Southwestern United States. As the colder seasons approach, these birds undertake a journey to their wintering grounds, which encompass the southernmost tip of Florida, Mexico, Central America, and various islands within the Caribbean.