Blue Bunting is found along both slopes of Mexico from Sinaloa and Nuevo León south to Nicaragua. It inhabits thickets and woodland, often rather arid, from sea level to about 1800 m. Because of its dark coloration and secretive habits, even singing individuals may be difficult to glimpse. Howell likens the metallic chink call note to that of Hooded Warbler. It also suggests the note of a Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) or Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea). Identification of the dark blue male is straightforward; his milky blue fore-crown, shoulder patch, and rump are unique. Note also the heavy, rounded bill. The dark brown females are most likely to be confused with the duller Varied Bunting (Passerina versicolor) or similarly-plumaged Blue Seedeater (Amaurospiza concolor) both of which are smaller billed.