Dean M. Chriss
Male Painted Bunting, Florida
(Click image to enlarge)
Painted buntings (Passerina ciris) are members of the cardinal family. The males are extremely colorful and are often described as the most beautiful birds in North America. In spite of their bright colors these birds can be quite difficult to spot. They are very shy, small, and secretive, tending to stay deep in clusters of dense foliage.
The Painted Bunting's range includes southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, southern and eastern Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, northern Florida, coastal Georgia, the southern coast of South Carolina, and northern Mexico. They winter in South Florida, Cuba, the Bahamas, along both coasts of Mexico and through much of Central America.