An indigo bunting on a sunflower
© William Krumpelman/Getty Image
Dressed to impress
From late spring to summer in parts of the US and Canada, male adult indigo buntings take it up a notch and turn a brilliant deep blue. They fly to a high perch, like our cheerful fellow on top of a sunflower, and sing from morning to night to try to catch the attention of females. Indigo buntings are members of the 'blue' clade (subgroup) of the cardinal family. During breeding season, you'll find the small, seed-loving songbirds in brushy habitats in pastures, along roadsides and at the edges of forests throughout eastern and central North America, from southern Canada down to Florida. Harder to spot are the plain brown females, which tend to their young deep in the thicket.