Varied Bunting (Passerina versicolor)
is a species of songbird in the Cardinal family, Cardinalidae. The male is a
deep indigo blue. A beautiful bird. Uncommon resident
The range of the varied bunting stretches from the southern parts of
Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas in the United States south throughout Mexico as
far as Oaxaca. Small disjunct populations occur in the state of Chiapas in
Mexico and southeastern Guatemala.
This stocky bird has a short tail and rounded bill. It is 1114
centimetres (4.35.5 in) long, has a wingspan of 21 centimetres (8.3 in), and
weighs 1113 grams (0.390.46 oz).
Breeding males are purple-red with a bright red patch on the nape, which
becomes browner in the fall.
Females are plain light brown, resembling the female indigo bunting but
lacking streaking on the breast.
Varied buntings inhabit deserts and xeric shrublands, preferring thorny
brush thickets, thorn forests, scrubby woodlands, and overgrown clearings. They
forage on the ground for insects, fruit, and seeds.
Varied buntings weave open-cup nests of grass and spider webs in the outer
branches of thorny shrubs, usually near water. Females lay two to five
bluish-white to bluish-green eggs, which they incubate for about fourteen days.
The young are fully feathered after 10 days, and are ready to leave the nest
several days later.
Forages at various levels from ground
up into shrubs and trees. Probably takes insects from leaves, seeds from ground
or stems, berries from shrubs. Forages alone in summer, but may gather in small
flocks in winter.
4, sometimes 3, rarely 5. White to
bluish-white, unmarked. Incubation is by female only, about 12-13 days. Young:
Fed by both parents, leaving nest after about 12 days. For a few days after
fledging, brood may split, 2 young going with female and 2 with male; then male
may take over care of all young while female starts another nesting attempt.
Often 2 broods per year, perhaps sometimes 3.
Fed by both parents, leaving nest
after about 12 days. For a few days after fledging, brood may split, 2 young
going with female and 2 with male; then male may take over care of all young
while female starts another nesting attempt. Often 2 broods per year, perhaps
Probably seeds and insects. Diet
poorly known. In breeding season probably feeds mostly on insects, also some
seeds, berries. Food brought to young at nest is mostly insects. Winter diet
probably includes more seeds.
Nests mostly in late summer in
Arizona (after summer rains begin), in early summer in Texas. Male defends
territory with song, and with fluttering flight display directed at intruding
males. Nest site is in dense shrub, low tree, or vine, usually 2-5' above
ground, sometimes up to 12'. Nest (built by both parents) is compact open cup,
mostly of dry grass and weeds, lined with finer
Thought for today:
There are two kinds of truth: the truth that lights the way
and the truth that warms the heart.
The first of these is science, and the second is art. Neither is
independent of the other or more important than the other. Without art, science
would be as useless as a pair of high forceps in the hands of a plumber.
Without science, art would become a crude mess of folklore and
emotional quackery. The truth of art keeps science from becoming inhuman, and
the truth of science keeps art from becoming ridiculous.
Raymond Thornton Chandler,
Word for today:
Here comes someone who only ever talks to you when he needs a
favor. Quick, parry! When you parry, you avoid doing things. As
the needy friend approaches, say, "I wish I had time to catch up!" and hurry
off. Or, hide under a table.
The word parry is often used to describe blocking or
evading a movement, like parrying a punch, but it can also refer to an evasion
that is verbal rather than physical. For example, if you are put on the spot and
asked about something youd rather avoid, you can parry to get out of it
change the subject or ask a question in return. When used in this way
parry retains its sense of defending yourself through evasion.
Grin for today:
ONE TEQUILA, TWO TEQUILA, THREE TEQUILA, FLOOR.
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