Family Cardinals (Cardinalidae)

Least Concern

Blue Bunting (Cyanocompsa parellina)


French: Évêque paré German: Lasurkardinal Spanish: Picogrueso azul

Cyanoloxia parellina


, 1850,

Alvarado, Veracruz, Mexico


Close relationship with Cyanoloxia brissonii suggested. Race lucida sometimes subsumed within beneplacita; and molecular study identified three intraspecific clades equating to lucida plus beneplacita; indigotica; and the nominate race#R. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. p. indigotica (Ridgway, 1887) – Turquoise-fronted Bunting – W Mexico from C Sinaloa S on Pacific slope to S Oaxaca and extreme SW Chiapas.
  • C. p. beneplacita Bangs, 1915 – NE Mexico (Nuevo León and extreme W Tamaulipas).
  • C. p. lucida Sutton & Burleigh, 1939 – NE Mexico (S interior Tamaulipas).
  • C. p. parellina (Bonaparte, 1850) – Blue Bunting – E Mexico (from Veracruz, E Puebla and N Oaxaca E to Tabasco, C Chiapas and Yucatán Peninsula) S to NW Nicaragua.
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14 cm; male 11–24 g, female 9·8–21 g (nominate). Male nominate race has forehead bright sky-blue, becoming deeper blue with darker feather bases... read more


    Song a sweet, rather sad warble, often with one or two separate notes at start, fading away at end... read more


    Forest edge, scrubby areas, undergrowth of tall forest, and thickets. Sea-level to 1800 m in Mexico... read more

    Food and feeding

    No published data on diet. Feeds singly and in pairs, low down in understorey.


    Birds in breeding condition in May in Belize. Nest a cup of rootlets, grass and plant tendrils, placed at low to medium level in bush.... read more


    Apparently mainly sedentary. Several records of vagrants in S USA (Texas, Louisiana), at distances... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common in much of range. Fairly common in Guatemala, where no records prior to 1906. Reported occurrence in Costa Rica in 2007... read more

    Recommended citation

    Brewer, D. (2019). Blue Bunting (Cyanocompsa parellina). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 19 August 2019).