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The Story of Georgia's Painted Buntings
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The Story of Georgia's Painted Buntings

The Painted Bunting, a spectacularly colored songbird, is rapidly disappearing from many of its nesting haunts near wetlands and rivers of coastal Georgia. The bird's population may be at risk of being listed as threatened and endangered after more than a 60% decline from 1966-1995. J. Michael Meyers, 1995.

Please cite this website as:    Meyers, J.M. 2004. Bird without an equal: the story of Georgia's Painted Bunting. USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, Maryland, USA.


Every year since 1966, thousands of volunteers have assisted wildlife biologists in conducting the annual North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS), which is organized and managed by the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Each volunteer surveys a 25-mile roadside circuit by stopping for three minutes every one-half mile and counting all birds that are seen or heard. continue reading >>>


It takes two years for a male Painted Bunting to become a brilliantly colored songbird without equal in North America. In contrast, the younger males and all females are difficult to see in their cryptic green plumage. Many people are unaware that this small colorful finch is a native songbird that migrates in late April from southern Florida, the Caribbean Islands, and Mexico to its nesting areas in the U.S. Painted Buntings nest along the coastal areas of Florida north to North Carolina but they also nest inland near large coastal rivers in these states. continue reading >>>


Habitat Changes -

In some areas, nesting Painted Buntings use abandoned farmland, open woodlands adjacent to pastures, and hedges associated with farming. Land use and the landscape of Georgia, however, has changed drastically in the last 50 years. Approximately half of the land in coastal Georgia that was farmed in the 1960's is now occupied by dense forests, some of which is intensively managed pine forests. More recently, hedgerows have also been eliminated in favor of large open fields for farming. These landscape changes have changed the amount of nesting habitat for the Painted Bunting in Georgia and South Carolina. continue reading >>>


A cooperative program entitled the Southeastern Atlantic Painted Bunting Conservation Initiative (SAPABUCI) was formed in 2001 to address the research and management needs of Painted Bunting populations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. State and federal biologists and managers, non-governmental organization managers, and interested citizens are cooperating in planning future research of the bunting that will benefit the recovery of its population. Hopefully that recovery will be ... continue reading >>>

Please cite this web site as:   Meyers, J. Michael. 2004. Bird without equal: The story of Georgia's Painted Bunting.   URL:

Major Contributors: USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Athens, Georgia and Laurel, Maryland and Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center