Indigo Bunting nests here in the north

Buntings are small birds, about the size of a sparrow or a bit larger.
There are four species of buntings in Canada. Two are resident of the west (Lazuli and Lark), and one comes to us only in the winter (Snow Bunting).
The fourth is the only one which nests here in Northern Ontario. It is the Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea).
The male of this species is all blue. Its head runs to a darker, more purple type of blue, and wings and tail usually have a darker, brownish cast.
But it is the only bird in this part of the world which is solidly blue so you can’t go wrong when you see him in the hedge.
The female, as usual, is much less colourful. At first glance, you might think she was a sparrow, brownish in general, but without the streaking of most sparrow species.
She also has a few blue feathers here and there to make sure she is a little bit different.
Even the eggs of the little bird are bluish.
Indigo Buntings nest in fairly low places–hedges, low bushes, and the like. The nest is a very neat affair, made of grass and twigs, usually lined with hair and very fine grass.
The female does most of the domestic chores, like it used to be in human families years ago.
The male bird is a very persistent singer, usually from someplace quite high (a telephone pole, high wire, or tall tree). The song is in different pitches, and usually the phrases are in pairs–chee, chee, zu, zu, sweet, sweet, and so on.
It sings an awful lot, and the song is very pleasant indeed.
The western counterpart of this bird is the Lazuli Bunting, in B.C. and Alberta. It is very pale blue on top, and has a reddish breast.
Another North American bunting is the Painted Bunting. This one is the most extravagantly-coloured bird on the continent–brilliant purple head, green back, and scarlet breast and rump (an artistic nightmare!)
Look for our own little Indigo Bunting in open areas with low bushes, old farms, meadows with hedgerows, and so on. If you can find this little blue bird, you will be glad you did.
It is one of our most colourful sparrow-type birds.

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