"WILMINGTON, N.C. -- With its gleaming red, blue and green feathers, the painted bunting is often described as the most beautiful migratory songbird in North America.
After a 30 year decline and extirpation from parts of its U.S. range, the species appears to be recovering. Now scientists at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington are reaching out to citizen scientists to help them confirm this observation and help advance the bird's survival.
The painted bunting, Passerina ciris, is classed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. The beautifully colored male was once a popular caged bird, but now its capture is illegal in the United States. Females are colored yellow and green, which protects them from trappers, but males are still targeted in Mexico for the caged-bird trade."