New York State Avian Records Committee

a committee of the New York State Ornithological Association

Gallery of New York Rarities
Painted Bunting

An unusual finch showed up at the feeder of Chris Gates on May 11, 2002 in the Town of Greece in Monroe County. After some initial confusion, Chris identified the bird and much to the delight of area birders, reported it as a Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris). Over the next five days, the bird made regular appearances to his niger seed feeder where its larger size than the American Goldfinches also dining there, was apparent. The female of this species is hardly a match for the gaudy male and it was referred to by one observer, who had been hoping to see an adult male, as an "Unpainted Bunting".


Most interesting was the manner in which it fed on this type of feeder. Unlike the goldfinches which leisurely hung upside-down, the Painted Bunting pirouetted on its perch, snatching a seed on the way around. Plumage color is the best way to tell this species from other North American buntings - the greenish upperparts and yellowish underparts distinguish this bird.


Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris)
Town of Greece, Monroe County, NY, May 15, 2002
Nikon Coolpix 885 camera through a Nikon Fieldscope ED II scope with 30X lens
Photos copyright of Willie D'Anna 2002

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