Varied BuntingPasserina versicolor
4 1/2-5 1/2" (11-14 cm). Sparrow-sized. Male dark purple-blue, with a dull red patch on nape; looks all black at a distance. Female dull gray-brown without distinctive markings. Female Indigo Bunting is browner, with suggestion of wing bars.
A series of sweet notes, each note or phrase repeated.
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Dense desert brush, especially along streambeds.
Resident in southern Arizona, southern New Mexico, and southern Texas.
This primarily Mexican species reaches the southernmost parts of the United States. It is unevenly distributed and inconspicuous, so very little is known about it. The birds spend most of their time concealed in dense desert brush, coming into view only when the male sings from the top of a bush. They probably feed primarily on weed seeds.
3 or 4 pale blue eggs in a deep cup of grass, twigs, and bark strips placed in a dense thicket.