Family: Cardinalidae, Cardinals
Description: 5-5 1/2" (13-14 cm). Sparrow-sized. Male bright blue with pale cinnamon breast, white belly and wing bars. Female dull brown, lighter below, with 2 pale wing bars. Female Indigo Bunting similar, but lacks conspicuous wing bars.
Habitat: Dry, brushy ravines and slopes; cleared areas and weedy pastures.
Nesting: 3 or 4 pale blue eggs in a loose cup of grass and rootlets in a bush.
Range: Breeds from British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and North Dakota south through western United States to southern California, northern New Mexico, western Oklahoma, and eastern Nebraska. Winters south of U.S.-Mexico border.
Voice: A high-pitched, excited series of warbled phrases, the first notes usually repeated, descending the scale and ascending again at the end; similar to song of Indigo Bunting, but phrases less distinct and only the first phrases repeated.
Discussion: The Lazuli hybridizes with its eastern counterpart, the Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea), on the Great Plains, where their ranges overlap. A diligent songster, the male patrols the perimeter of his territory, spending much time on his song perches.