Fun Indigo Bunting Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Indigo Bunting Facts For Kids

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The indigo bunting (Passerina cyanea) is a bird that is a Cardinalidae. Indigo buntings are small birds and stocky. They are migratory in nature and usually migrate from Canada to Florida in the breeding season. During winters, they migrate from Florida to South America in search of wintering grounds. They undertake migration usually in the night and use stars for navigation.

The indigo bunting habitat is usually brushy and woody areas, open woodlands edges, and farmlands. The indigo bunting size is small with a length of 4.7-5.1 in (12-13 cm). Adult male indigo buntings are vibrant blue in color during summers with bright feather colors to attract a mate during the breeding season. Males become brown in color during winters in wintering grounds, and the females are brown all year-round. Females have the responsibility of nest-building and incubation. Their nest is an open cup of grasses, stems, and bark. The young ones leave their nest after two weeks of nestling period once they've hatched from their eggs. An indigo bunting feeds on insects in the summers and small seeds during the winters.

Continue reading for more indigo bunting facts for kids and other information like indigo bunting sound, indigo bunting song, indigo bunting broods, and indigo buntings living in the forest during summer.

You may also check out our fact files on lark bunting and lazuli bunting from Kidadl.

Fun Indigo Bunting Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Seeds, insects, and spiders

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.5 oz (14.7 g)

How long are they?

4.7-5.1 in (12-13 cm)

How tall are they?

3.9 in (10 cm)

What do they look like?

Blue plumage

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Urbanization, And Spring Heatwaves, Fire Weather

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Farmland, And Weedy Areas, Open Deciduous Woods, Brushy Forest Edges


Europe, North America, South America, And Central America









Indigo Bunting Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an indigo bunting?

The indigo bunting (Passerina cyanea) is a type of bird.

What class of animal does an indigo bunting belong to?

The indigo bunting belongs to the class of Aves.

How many indigo buntings are there in the world?

There are approximately 28-30 million indigo buntings in the world. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN, the population range of the indigo bunting bird is quite stable and of Least Concern.

Where does an indigo bunting live?

Indigo bunting birds are found in woods. Their natural habitat range includes open deciduous forests, brushy woodland edges, weedy areas, and farms. They need to feed on small seeds for their survival.

What is an indigo bunting's habitat?

The blue indigo bunting bird habitat includes open spaces surrounded by trees, and the best habitat for them is deciduous forests, woodland edges, and second-growth woods. Deforestation and conversion of forest lands to farms has not affected their population or range negatively. Instead, the population range of indigo buntings has shown an increase.

Who do indigo buntings live with?

They travel in flocks in the winter season, while in the breeding season, they travel in pairs.

How long does an indigo bunting live?

The lifespan range of an indigo bunting is about 10-15 years in its natural habitat.

How do they reproduce?

The indigo bunting travels to and from between breeding grounds in eastern North America during the spring season and South America or southern North America (Florida, Mexico, parts of Central America) during the winter season. In the summer and spring months of April to July, the indigo bunting range is in North America where its breeding grounds are.

Indigo buntings are socially monogamous birds but often switch mates. Mating occurs in shrubs, small trees, and bushes, and they may also seek to hybridize by mating with the similar lazuli bunting. Females choose the nesting site and build their nests alone. Preferred nesting sites are areas on trees, near croplands, and farms, and roadsides. Males keep watch at the nest site but do not participate in the nesting process. In about eight to 10 days, a cup-shaped nest at the indigo bunting nest site is ready, and the females lay their eggs.

The average range of eggs is three to four per brood, and the females can have up to three broods per breeding season. Indigo bunting eggs are tiny, white, and may have brown spots. The hatching takes 10-15 days of incubation, after which the young and immature indigo buntings are born. After a nestling period of two weeks after hatching, the young fledglings are ready to fly.

What is their conservation status?

Indigo buntings are categorized to be of Least Concern status according to the IUCN. This species is seen to be abundant in places and is not believed to disappear in the near future. Measures for their conservation have not been taken in full measure as of now. The conservation efforts are undertaken with brute force if the population decline is generally more than 30% in three generations or 10 years.

In fact, indigo buntings have been seen to be increasing in density and the geographic extent to which they can be found. They are protected under the US Migratory Birds Act. However, there is no protection under the CITES or Endangered Species Act.

The threats to indigo bunting are humans. Humans kill them for sport and for food. They are very popular as cage birds in Mexico and Europe. Since these birds are migratory, climate change can also be a threat.

Indigo Bunting Fun Facts

What do indigo buntings look like?

The indigo bunting, a close relative of the lazuli bunting and the painted bunting, is a beautiful little songbird found all over the American continent. It is a migratory bird belonging to the cardinal family. The indigo bunting bird displays sexual differences in coloration, with the males being a bright cerulean blue in the breeding season and the females being a dull brown shade. It is one of seven birds in the Passerina genus, with the species being called cyanea for the blue color of the males. A female indigo bunting, although not as colorful as the males, still has faint streaks of blue on its breasts and wings. Immature indigo bunting males are a patchy shade of brown and blue.

Indigo Bunting

How cute are they?

Just like the house canaries, indigo bunting birds are adorable. Male indigo buntings are small, colorful and attractive birds. Female indigo buntings are dull brown and white. Both can be easily attracted into your backyards by bird feeders hung on trees filled with seeds like thistle.

How do they communicate?

Indigo bunting sounds are sharp, high-pitched range calls that are clearly audible. They are also songbirds and can sing a range of different tunes. The indigo bunting call is used by males to defend their territory. A butterfly wing-flapping technique is also used to show aggression between two male indigo buntings when territory or nests are involved.

How big is an indigo bunting?

The indigo bunting size is the same as that of a canary or a sparrow. The adult indigo bunting weighs about 0.5 oz (14.7 g) and measures between 4.7-5.1 in (12-13 cm).

How fast can an indigo bunting fly?

The indigo blue bunting bird can fly at a speed of 20 mph (32.2 kph). The indigo bunting range is about 1200 mi (1931 km).

How much does an indigo bunting weigh?

The adult indigo bunting bird can weigh 0.5 oz (14.7 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Both the males and the females of this species are called indigo buntings.

What would you call a baby indigo bunting?

A very young or a baby indigo bunting is called a chick.

What do they eat?

The indigo bunting diet consists of mostly berries, grasses, and stems. They also eat small seeds such as sunflower, millets, thistle, and nyjer. Their diet depends a lot on what is available in their territory. The diet can change due to migration, climate, and availability. Indigo bunting food is also composed of insects like spiders, grasshoppers, moths and caterpillars.

Adult indigo buntings are often hunted by larger birds of prey. However, no specific such birds are known. The main threat to the habitat and nest of indigo bunting females and their young ones are animals like raccoons, foxes, snakes, cats, and possums. They prefer insects in summer and small seeds in winters.

Are they rare?

Although there is a large population of indigo buntings in the wild, it is rare to see these birds in an urban locality. In summer or a warm climate, when it is time for the breeding season, indigo bunting migration occurs to parts of northern South America, such as Mexico. They can be seen perched on elevated heights and wires. Indigo bunting sounds can be used to identify them since they are mostly out of sight. Females are less likely to be spotted due to their dull coloration.

Would they make a good pet?

The indigo bunting songbird seems like a great idea for a pet. However, there is no information that keeping this bird as a pet is advisable. The rarer painted bunting is not allowed to be kept as a pet in the USA.

Did you know...

The indigo bunting bird uses the stars in the sky to navigate while migrating at night. During migration, large flocks of indigo buntings feed in agricultural fields and lawns. In the fall, their brown plumage makes them very difficult to be traced or identified in the wild.

Male indigo bunting calls are known to whistle in sharp and high-pitched notes that last for two seconds.

They sing about 200 songs per hour during dawn time. They sing about one song per minute during the other parts of the day. They repeat their notes in pairs. They learn their songs from nearby males as youngsters but don’t learn them from their fathers.

Indigo buntings do not contain any blue pigment. They are actually black but due to the phenomenon of diffraction of light through their feathers, they appear to be blue. They look like jewels due to refraction of light through their microscopic structures in the feathers.

The brown plumage of the indigo bunting contains the pigment melanin. You can see the dull brown-black hue if you hold a blue feather up to the light.

In blue grosbeak vs. indigo bunting, the Bill size is a great metric to differentiate between similar species. The indigo bunting is known to have a relatively small conical bill. The blue grosbeak has a comparatively larger beak and a two color bill with dark gray on the upper mandible and light gray on the lower mandible.

In a cool climate, indigo buntings fly over the Gulf of Mexico and around it to migrate to South America. The majority of indigo buntings choose the trans-Gulf path. Evidence from the past suggests that indigo buntings did not have a good enough fat content to travel across the Gulf. Now that study has been refuted as the birds in the study were not fully mature.

How do you attract indigo buntings?

Bird feeders with thistle or nyjer seeds can be used to attract indigo bunting birds to your backyard or farm. Small seeds are necessary for their survival. These birds are also attracted by live insects such as earthworms and caterpillars, so these might also be used to attract these bluebirds.

What does it mean when you see an indigo bunting?

Indigo is a symbolism of self-mastery, spiritual realization, and wisdom. Blue is supposed to be the color of communication, and indigo turns the blue color towards the body, that is, inwards. Turning the blue inwards increases personal thought, instant understandings, and profound insights. Indigo buntings emphasize truth, goodness, and love with spiritual origins.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these painted bunting facts and shrike facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Indigo Bunting coloring pages.

Written By
Team Kidadl

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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