The male is easily recognized by its bright blue head and
back (lighter than the closely related indigo bunting), its conspicuous
white wingbars, and its light rusty breast and white belly. The color pattern
may suggest the eastern and western bluebirds, but the smaller size (13?14 cm or
5?5.5 inches long), wingbars, and short and conical bunting bill quickly
The female is brown,
grayer above and warmer underneath,
told from the female
by two thin and pale
wingbars and other plumage details.
Lazuli buntings breed
mostly west of the 100th meridian
Canada to northern Texas, central New Mexico
southern California. On the Pacific coast
their breeding range
extends south to extreme northwestern Baja
Their habitat is brushy
areas and sometimes weedy pastures,
and sometimes in towns.
These birds eat mostly
seeds and insects.
They may feed
conspicuously on the ground
or in bushes, but
are often very
elusive in treetops.
This bird makes a loose
cup nest of grasses and rootlets
placed in a bush. It
lays three or four pale blue eggs.
In the eastern and
southern part of its range,
it often hybridizes with
the indigo bunting.