This sparrow-sized bird is the western relative of the "Indigo Bunting". You will see him perched, jewel-like, high up in an aspen tree. The "Indigo Bunting" ranges widely along mountain streams and forest vegetation, as high up as 10,000 feet in Kings Canyon National Park, as well as weedy pastures below sea level in Death Valley.
Very similar to the female Indigo, the female Lazuli is dull brown, lighter below with two pale wing bars and a touch of blue on her wings and tail.
By late summer, the young birds resemble their mother, but without the bluish traces.
During courtship, the male spreads his wings in full glory attempting to attract the attention of the inconspicuous female. These birds breed from British Columbia, Saskatchewan and North Dakota south throughout the western United States.
Calls or song.
The "Lazuli Bunting" sings a high-pitched series of warbled phrases, descending the scale and ascending again at the end.
Population and distribution.
With deforestation, this bird's numbers has increased, as trees are replaced by brush, in which the "Lazuli Bunting" makes its habitat.
The female lays four bluish-white eggs in a deep cup of dried grass and plant stems, which she has lined with animal hair. Seldom is her nest more than a few feet from the ground.