Buntings are among our most colorful backyard songbirds. There are four species in North America: Lazuli Bunting, Painted Bunting, Indigo Bunting, and Varied Bunting. The Lazuli ranges throughout the West; the Indigo Bunting lives throughout the East. The other two have more limited ranges, the Painted living in the Southeast and the Varied in only the extreme Southwest.
In all of our buntings, the males and females look very different. The males are very colorful and the females are either brownish or greenish which helps protect them during their important raising of young. Young males in their first year often look more like the adult females but with a few colorful feathers thrown in. Painted Buntings males are the most colorful of the buntings and have just about all the colors of the rainbow. Indigo Bunting males are brilliant blue.