Painted Bunting Passerina ciris


Taxonomic source(s)
Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red List criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Least Concern
2016 Near Threatened A2bcd+3bcd+4bcd
2012 Near Threatened A2bcd+3bcd+4bcd
2008 Near Threatened A2b,c,d; A3b,c,d; A4b,c,d
2004 Near Threatened
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency does not normally occur in forest
Land-mass type continent
Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence (breeding/resident) 3,010,000 km2 medium
Extent of Occurrence (non-breeding) 5,310,000 km2 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size 14000000 mature individuals medium estimated 2016
Population trend stable medium estimated 1998-2008
Generation length 4.4 years - - -

Population justification: Partners in Flight estimate there to be 12,000,000 mature individuals in continental U.S.A. out of a global total of 14,000,000 (Rosenberg et al. 2016, Partners in Flight 2018).

Trend justification: Data from the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) (T. Meehan in litt. 2018) suggests that in North America the species may have increased since 1966, within the relevant part of its range. However, Breeding Bird Survey data suggests it has undergone a small or statistically insignificant decrease over the last three generations (c.13 years) (Sauer et al. 2017), which would not approach the threshold for Vulnerable. As CBC data may only represent a more limited proportion of the population the species is, therefore, treated here as stable.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Bahamas extant native yes
Belize extant native yes
Cayman Islands (to UK) extant vagrant
Costa Rica extant native yes
Cuba extant native yes
El Salvador extant native yes
Guatemala extant native yes
Honduras extant native yes
Jamaica extant vagrant yes
Mexico extant native yes
Nicaragua extant native yes
Panama extant native yes
USA extant native yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Cuba Ciénaga de Zapata
Cuba Cayos Romano - Cruz - Megano Grande
Cuba Cayería Centro - Oriental de Villa Clara
Cuba Sierra del Chorrillo
Cuba Alturas de Banao
Cuba Gran Humedal del Norte de Ciego de Ávila
Cuba Río Máximo
Cuba Delta del Cauto
Cuba Delta del Mayarí
Cuba Pico Cristal
Cuba Guanahacabibes
Nicaragua Mombacho Volcano
Nicaragua Los Guatuzos
Nicaragua Miraflor
Nicaragua Chocoyero - El Brujo - Montibelli and adjacent landscape
Cuba Mil Cumbres
Cuba Las Picuas - Del Cristo Cay
Cuba Gibara
Mexico Cuatro Ciénegas
Mexico Vallecitos de Zaragoza
Mexico Nacimiento Río Sabinas-Sureste de la Sierra de Santa Rosa
Mexico Parras de la Fuente
Mexico Presa el Tulillo
Mexico Presa Venustiano Carranza
Mexico Sierra Maderas del Carmen
USA ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge--Edisto Unit
USA Santee National Wildlife Refuge
USA Fort Chaffee
USA Altamaha Waterfowl Management Area
USA Bald Head - Smith Island
USA Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge
USA Hobcaw Barony

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land major breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest major non-breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude major non-breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Moist major breeding
Altitude 0 - 1700 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Species mortality
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Competition, Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases - Molothrus ater Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Unknown Unknown Unknown
Reduced reproductive success
Residential & commercial development Housing & urban areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Transportation & service corridors Roads & railroads Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Passerina ciris. Downloaded from on 22/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/02/2024.