Indigo Bunting Habits

One habit of the Indigo Bunting bird is his persistant singing. Singing well into the summer when most birds have fallen silent.

I would probably never see this bird if it wasn't for hearing him at the top of a tree.

While this bird appears to love singing, he's not especially melodic. One song may sound like another, but individual birds vary greatly in melody and sequence.

Male Indigo Bunting on Shrub

Indigo Bunting Call


Measuring 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 inches in length and has a sparrowlike dark gray conical bill.

In summer, the male is dark blue overall. In winter the male is brownish with some blue on underparts. It takes the sun's light to see the iridescent blue of this bird.

The feathers don't contain any blue pigment but the diffracted sunlight gives the feathers the appearance of blue.

The female is a plain brown, with faint wing bars and faint streaking. Keeping this same plumage all year. Female Indigos can be difficult to find.

Their plain plumage and secretive nature during nesting make them hard to add to the birders list.

Mating Habits

Not much is known about the Indigo Buntings mating habits other than to say, singing from an uppermost perch is likely done to attract a perspective mate and protect his territory.

Nesting Habits

Indigo Bunting Perched on Tree Branch

Nest site selection is done by the female and she alone builds the nest.

The nest is a well-made cup of grass, leaves, bark strips and lined with finer grasses and downy material.

Located 5 to 15 feet above ground in a bush, small tree, or tangle.

The female lays 2 to 6 bluish unmarked eggs. Incubation is done by the female only and last about 12 days.

Once hatched, the female feeds the young. The male does not feed the female and helps little with the young.

The young will leave the nest withing 10 to 15 days after hatching. These birds are very reluctant to approach the nest if humans are close by.

If you get near the nest they will give a "spit" call and flick their tail.

1 - 2 broods raised each season. Sometimes the male will still be feeding the first fledglings while the female begins building a second nest.

Feeding Habits

Indigo Buntings forage on the ground and in low folige for insects such as spiders. Additional food sources for these birds include weed seeds, wild berries, and grain.

Listen to Indigo Bunting Give Calls


Predators of nestlings and eggs include: snakes, raccoons, Blue Jays and cats.


Indigo Buntings leave there wintering grounds and begin arriving on breeding territories by late April - June.

By October they'll be in s. Florida to n. South America.

indigo-bunting in treetop