How to Attract Indigo Buntings to Your Yard

Indigo Buntings are a beautiful bright-blue migratory songbird in North America. Their eye-catching color make them a standout in any backyard or bird feeding station. I had my first Indigo Bunting visit my feeders this spring and it was one of the most exciting finds I’ve had in a while. Indigo Buntings rock.

If you want to bring some of these small, vibrant blue birds to your yard, I wanted to put together a few of the best tips to increase your odds in this story.

The Range of Indigo Buntings

Before jumping into that, here’s the range map for Indigo Buntings. They start their northern spring migration (usually traveling around 1,200 miles!) in April and return south in September.

Indigo Bunting Range Map Cropped
Yellow: Summer Range, Green: Migrating Range, Blue: Winter Range
Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Provide Food – White Millet, Sunflower Chips and Thistle

Indigo Buntings are more than happy to visit a bird feeder if you have some of their favorite foods sitting out. They love to feed on small seeds, including sunflower chips, millet, and thistle. According to The Cornell Lab, mealworms can also be an appealing choice for Indigo Buntings.

Related Content: Vacationing? Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Birds Fed at Home 

Have a Tube and Ground Bird Feeder

bird, tree, indigo bunting-7993815.jpg
Did you know? Indigo Buntings use stars for guidance during their migration trips!

From everything I’ve seen and read, Indigo Bunting either prefer to eat on a tube “finch-style” feeder or on a sturdy tray feeder on the ground. You can try spreading millet and sunflower chips on the ground, or consider investing in a ground tray feeder to avoid some of the mess.

Be sure to keep your feeder well-stocked and clean to ensure it’s appealing when they stop by. Indigo Buntings are relatively timid birds, so be sure to also consider putting your feeder about 10 feet away from a tree or brush to offer some cover and safety.

Offer Water

Having a bird bath is a great way to get a ton of different birds visiting your yard.

Like most birds, Indigo Buntings need access to fresh water for drinking and bathing. You can attract them and many more birds to your yard by providing a bird bath or a shallow dish of water that is refreshed regularly.

Related Content: The 4 Surprising Health Benefits of Bird Feeding

Final Thoughts

Remember to be patient and consistent in your efforts to attract Indigo Buntings. It took me three years to see my first. Be sure to keep an eye on your feeders, especially during the spring. Migrating Indigo Buntings may only stop for a fleeting moment!

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