Thursday, 6 November 2014

Lazuli Bunting x Indigo Bunting

Lazuli Bunting x Indigo Bunting hybrid, Tamarack Ranch, Logan County (Colorado, USA), 25th May 2012 - copyright Steve Mlodinow
(photo ID: 1272)


This is perhaps one of the better known passerine hybrids in North America and the individual Steve photographed here is pretty clearly intermediate between the two species.


Lazuli Bunting x Indigo Bunting hybrid (same bird as in photo ID 1272 above), Tamarack Ranch, Logan County (Colorado, USA), 25th May 2012 - copyright Steve Mlodinow
(photo IDs: 1273-1274)


With the next bird Steve notes the dark colouration, a single wingbar and limited orange on the chest.  He tells us that singing males of both parental species were present at the same location during the summer, though this singing male is clearly not this year's offspring.

Lazuli Bunting x Indigo Bunting hybrid, Prewitt Reservoir, Washington County (Colorado, USA), 31st July 2013 - copyright Steve Mlodinow
(photo ID: 1156)


The next bird was present in a canyon with 5 Indigo Buntings.

Lazuli Bunting x Indigo Bunting hybrid, Cottonwood Canyon, Baca County (Colorado, USA), 18th May 2015 - copyright Steve Mlodinow
(photo ID: 2251)


The next one was paired with an apparent hybrid female.  Steve says this hybrid is uncommon, but not rare, in eastern Colorado.

Lazuli Bunting x Indigo Bunting hybrid, Ovid Woods, Sedgwick County (Colorado, USA), 24th May 2015 - copyright Steve Mlodinow
(photo ID: 2256)


Steve notes that the next bird is rather Lazuli-like.  It had distinctly less orange on the chest, only one wingbar, and darker blue plumage, none of which is easily discernible given the angles and lighting in the photos.


Lazuli Bunting x Indigo Bunting hybrid, Prewitt Reservoir, Washington County (Colorado, USA), 15th July 2015 - copyright Steve Mlodinow
(photo IDs: 2264-2265)



Lazuli Bunting Passerina amoena
Indigo Bunting Passerina cyanea

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