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A Middleton Mountain Gem, the Lazuli Bunting

Updated: Jun 25, 2023

The Lazuli Bunting (Passerina Amoena) is a small, colorful bird species found in the North Okanagan.

Males have vibrant plumage, with a bright blue head, back, and breast, while their belly and rump are white. They also possess a chestnut-colored patch on their shoulders.


In contrast, the female Lazuli Bunting has a more subdued plumage, displaying a brownish-gray coloration overall.



Lazuli Buntings are native to western North America, including regions such as the western United States, southwestern Canada, and parts of Mexico. They can be found in open woodlands, forest edges, and shrublands.


Lazuli Buntings are migratory, undertaking long-distance migrations and traveling thousands of miles to their wintering grounds in Mexico and Central America.


Their diet consists of seeds, insects, and berries. They may also feed on nectar and occasionally catch insects in flight.


During the breeding season, the male and female Lazuli Buntings construct cup-shaped nests in shrubs or low tree branches, using grasses, leaves, and other plant materials.


The female lays a clutch of 3 to 5 eggs, which she incubates for about 12-14 days.


Both parents participate in caring for the hatchlings.


The Lazuli Bunting gets its name from the vibrant blue coloration of the male bird's plumage, particularly on its head, back, and breast.


The term "lazuli" refers to the gemstone lapis lazuli, which is known for its intense blue color.


The striking blue hue of the male Lazuli Bunting resembles the color of this gemstone, hence the name "Lazuli" Bunting.


The Lazuli Bunting is not currently considered a threatened species.



Tag: A Middleton Mountain Gem, the Lazuli Bunting

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