|Painted Buntings (Passerina ciris) - How to Attract this Colorful Bird to Your Area
BY PATSY GLENN
So beautifully colored, they seem to belong in the tropics, the Painted Bunting is shy. The first sighting of one of these little birds is always a memorable experience. Patsy Glenn's article describes how to attract them to your area.
This wonderful 4 1/2 inch palette of primary colors and neon green is called "non-pareil" (without equal) by the Cajuns of Louisiana. No wonder people gasp when they first see him! If the bunting you see looks less brilliant, he is just molting between breeding seasons.
Watch for his mate who is green above, yellowish-green below, and has no wing-bars or streaks. She is the only green finch in our area.
Do you want one in your yard?
Painted Buntings are seed eaters. Plant wildflowers. Let the birds feast on native wildflower and grass seeds after the plant goes to seed. Then you can mow away without destroying one of their primary food sources. Provide seed at your feeders. Millet seeds are a special favorite.
Have several feeders. Painted Buntings are shy, yet very territorial. They are known to fight to the death over their territory.
Running or dripping water is best. As you can see, they love to bathe. One local birder wets a bush and enjoys watching them frolic in the water-filled pottery saucer beside it.
Leave plenty of brush.
Since the buntings nest three to six feet off the ground, wild native vines, agarita, and yaupon or other bushes you have planted on the perimeter of your property, as well as other indigenous plants, are extremely important to their survival.