Migratory Bird Program
Conserving the Nature of America
Focal Species

Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris)

The Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) has been identified as a focal species of management concern due to a range-wide population decline of 3.2% per year from 1966-1995, and ongoing threats to populations on breeding and wintering grounds, particularly in the eastern part of its range. Although the primary cause of population declines is unknown, loss and fragmentation of maritime scrub-shrub habitats in the Southeastern Coastal Plain of the United States are thought to be the major factors influencing the eastern population of Painted Buntings during breeding season.
Loss of riparian habitats in the southwestern United States and northwest Mexico, used during migration by the western population of Painted Bunting, may also be influencing population levels of this species. Additional factors that may be affecting eastern and western populations of Painted Bunting include capture of large numbers of individual Painted Buntings at their wintering grounds for sale in the pet trade industry, and Brown-headed Cowbird parasitism of Painted Bunting nests in fragmented habitats.


Rich, T.D., C.J. Beardmore, H. Berlanga, P.J. Blancher, M.S.W. Bradstreet, G.S. Butcher, D.W. Demarest, E.H. Dunn, W.C. Hunter, E.E. Inigo-Elias, J.A. Kennedy, A.M. Martell, A.O. Panjabi, D.N. Pashley, K.V. Rosenberg, C.M. Rustay, J.S. Wendt, and T.C. Will. 2004. Partners in Flight North American Landbird Conservation Plan. Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY.

Catlin, D. 2000. The Nature Conservancy Species Management Abstract: Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris). Downloaded from (http://conserveonline.org) on 9/6/2006.

Lowther, P.E., S.M. Lanyon, and C.W. Thompson. 1999. Painted Bunting ( Passerina ciris ). In The Birds of North America, No. 398 (A. Poole and F. Gill, Eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting - Photo by South Carolina DNR

Action  Plan  in development

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Last updated: December 1, 2011