Lazuli Bunting: Small finch, bright blue upperparts, cinnamon-brown breast and sides, white belly. Dark wings with white wing bar. Forages on ground, low in trees and bushes. Eats seeds, insects, caterpillars. Short flights, alternates rapid wing beats with brief periods of wings pulled to sides.
Range and Habitat
Lazuli Bunting: Breeds from British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and North Dakota south through western U.S. to southern California, northern New Mexico, western Oklahoma, and eastern Nebraska. Spends winters south of the U.S.-Mexico border. Preferred habitats include dry, brushy ravines and slopes, as well as cleared areas and weedy pastures.
Male Lazuli Buntings two years of age and older sing only one song, composed of a series of different syllables, and unique to that individual.
They start their molt during late summer on their breeding grounds, then stop this molt and migrate to molting areas in southern Arizona, New Mexico and northern Sonora, or the southern tip of Baja California where they finish molting before continuing their migration to wintering grounds in western Mexico.
A group of buntings are collectively known as a "decoration", "mural", and "sacrifice" of buntings.
The Lazuli Bunting is rated as Vulnerable. This rating is a result of population numbers that have decreased over the past years. Although it appears that the population of this bird may be increasing in some areas, it is still considered to be vulnerable to threats. If numbers continue to increase, it may be downgraded to Near Threatened. This bird species is native the Marshall Islands, Canada, Mexico, Russia, the Northern Mariana Islands and the United States. It is thought to be regionally extinct in Japan. The Lazuli Bunting is sometimes seen on Norfolk Island and New Zealand.