The Painted Bunting breeds in the southeastern United States and in northeastern Mexico, and winters in Florida, the Bahamas, Cuba and Mexico south to Costa Rica and western Panama. The distribution of Painted Bunting is notable for the total, or nearly total, geographical separation of the distribution between an eastern population with only a very narrow distribution, and a more widespread western population, with no documented geographich overlap between these two populations.
Like other buntings of the genus Passerina, Painted Bunting is found in shrubby habitats and at forest edge. They primarily forage on the ground, although sometimes (at least when breeding) may forage as high as 10 m (33') above the ground.
Although the Painted Bunting is well-known compared to many species that breed entirely within the Neotropics, many aspects of its biology remain poorly known. A comprehensive summary of its biology (especially in the United States) can be found in the Painted Bunting account in the Birds of North America series.
thumbnail image: Port Aransas, Texas; April 2009 © Linda Alley