Like Painted Buntings, male Varied Buntings shine like jewels. The brilliant colors of Varied Buntings stand out in their arid habitat. But despite their striking appearance, this is an inconspicuous bird, often concealed in desert brush far from human habitation.
Most Varied Buntings occur in Mexico, barely making it into the United States along the southern borders of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Like many other desert species, its life cycle is tied to rain: When summer rains are delayed, they may not nest until as late as August.