Painted buntings (Passerina ciris)are common on Botany Bay and a visitor favorite. The bright colors of the male and the lovely green of the females will brighten the viewer's day. (note: the males do not get their colorful plumage until around 2 years old so some of the "green birds you see may not be females. If a green bird sings it's a male.) So far in 2011 we have banded over 70. We're told some of our painted buntings will migrate to Florida and some will go on to Cuba. Unfortunately in Cuba they still allow the trapping of these lovely birds for the pet trade.
The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds says, "this gaudy finch is one of the most beautiful birds in North America." They continue, "Its other well-known name is 'Nonpareil' meaning 'without equal'. This species is common in parts of the Deep South and raises as many as three broods. The female is one of the few truly green birds in North America."
We often see them on Edisto at feeding stations and in bird baths.