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 11–14 centimetres (4.3–5.5 in) long, has a wingspan of 21 centimetres (8.3 in), and weighs 11–13 grams (0.39–0.46 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.
 
Eggs
 
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.
 
 
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.

Diet
 
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.
 
Nesting
 
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 materials

 
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:
 

parry

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 you’d 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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