From Florida Birds Collection by artist Dawn Currie. Male Painted Bunting photographed in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Florida.
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A stunning Painted Bunting found near the Visitor Center at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Titusville Florida.
With their vivid fusion of blue, green, yellow, and red, male Painted Buntings (Passerina ciris) seem to have flown straight out of a child's coloring book. Females and immatures are a distinctive bright green with a pale eye ring. These fairly common finches breed in the coastal Southeast and in the south-central U.S., where they often come to feeders.
Unfortunately, it's easy to trap colorful male Painted Buntings by tricking them into attacking decoys. In 1841 John James Audubon reported that 'thousands' of the colorful birds were caught every spring and shipped from New Orleans to Europe, where they fetched more than 100 times the price when sold as cage birds. They are still trapped and sold in large numbers in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and to a lesser extent in Florida, despite efforts by conservationists to to curb illegal trade.
May 8th, 2014
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