Adopt A Bird Band
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Indigo Bunting
(Passerina cyanea)

Indigo buntingThe vibrant hues of the indigo bunting may be seen throughout most of North America during the spring and summer. Indigo buntings are fond of brushy fields and woodland edges, which are abundant in western Pennsylvania.

The brilliant blues that adorn this bird are caused by a phenomenon known as structural color. The birdís feathers are actually black until they encounter light. The internal structure of the feathers diffracts light, creating the dazzling range of blues that the male displays during the breeding season. Structural color is a trait shared by all birds with blue feathers, including the blue jay and the eastern bluebird. In fall, adult buntings lose most of their indigo, fading to mostly brown like the females and young birds.

Indigo buntings are very loyal to their nesting sites, returning to the same area year after year. The banding stationís records indicate that several of their recaptured indigo buntings have lived to be up to 13 years old.


Click to return to $100 level or view another level:

Adoptions at the $100 Level include these benefits:

  • Optional e-card for gift recipients (look on confirmation page after purchase)
  • Personalized adoption certificate printed with unique band number, photo of adopted species, and species highlights
  • Replica bird band
  • Invitation to attend a special adopter-only morning at the bird banding station
  • eNews updates about our bird research
  • Three free passes to Carnegie Museum of Natural History; $46 of each $100 adoption is tax-deductible
  • Admission to Powdermill Nature Reserve is always free

Carnegie Museum of Natural History
4400 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213
One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

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