Blue Finch vs Indigo Bunting: A Complete Guide!

If you’re a bird fanatic, you might love watching or learning about them. Sometimes similar colored birds cause you to mix them up.

So, you are looking for the details between Blue Finches vs Indigo Buntings.

Though both are blue in color, blue finches are lighter, whereas the Indigo Buntings have a deep blue color. Blue Finches are longer in size than Indigo Buntings. But they share the same diet habit. You may love Indigo buntings’ high-pitched calls more than Blue Finches’ descending tone.  

Well, I wrote this whole article for your convenience. Here you’ll get to know every difference and similarity between these two types of birds.

Stay tuned and give it a read.

A Quick Comparison Between Blue Finch Vs Indigo Bunting

Blue finch and Indigo bunting might look similar at very first glance. Actually, they share similarities but are not the same. It’s really difficult to spot the difference.

They look very similar but have some differences as well. After knowing that, you’ll get to know the difference between these birds. 

How is going to happen? No worries, I am here to your rescue. 

Now, I am going to provide you with a sneak peek of the differences between a Blue Finch and an Indigo Bunting. 

Let’s have a look.

Features Blue Finch Indigo Bunting
Plumage Male- bright blue cobalt, the plumage becomes edge rufous-brown after the molt.

Female- rufous-brown on the upper side and in the lower buffy white with dusky streaks.

Male- deep blue. The tail and wings are black and also have blue edges.

Female- Dark brown on the upper, faded brown streaked chest, and slightly blue on the tail and shoulders.

Size 12.5 cm or 5” in length, including the tail. 11.4 cm or 4.5” including wingspan(18-23cm)
Beak shape The bright yellow bill, and a bit longer Dark gray and short and thick
Vocalization In the morning and in the afternoon.

Also, it’s repetitive with a descending tone.

High pitched but short, which lasts for 2 seconds.
Diet Insects, seeds, and other plant components Seeds, insects
Nesting habit Built with twigs, leaves, and grass. Built with leaves, grass, bark, and stems.
Habitat Brazil and Bolivia From eastern North America to northern South America

I hope you’ve got an idea of their differences. Now you’ll have a long and detailed comparison of them.

So, let’s get started.

The Detailed Comparison Between Blue Finch And Indigo Bunting

Mostly, you get confused by their physical differences, right? But it’s a bit weird that you can easily spot them if you have a closer look.

So, to spot them perfectly, you must know what they are apart. However, it’s not satisfactory just to know a sneak peek of the differences. Hold on.

Here, you’ll get to know the differences between them in a detailed manner.

The Plumage of Blue Finch and Indigo Bunting

These cute little Indigo buntings have deeper blue on their heads. But the blue becomes lighter on the rest of the body. Then they have black colored wings and edges.

But the baby buntings have some patches of blue on their bodies.

Then, the female Indigo buntings are mostly brown. But occasionally, they have faded touches of blue. They have slightly blue rumps and tails.

On the other hand, cute little blue finches are bright cobalt blue in color. They also have the same blue tone on the rest of their bodies.

If you observe closely, you can also spot that they have faint black streaks throughout their bodies. Also, they come with a great combination of silver and gray in their lower parts and wings.

Then, the lady finches will amaze you with their rufous-brown color, which is on the upper side. And they have buffy dusky streaks in their lower portion.

The Size of Blue Finches and Indigo Bunting

The size of them is not that notable. It’s not easy to spot them, relying on their sizes. But they do have size differences.

The Blue Finches are almost 5” or 12.5 cm in length. The tail is included within that.

On the other hand, the Indigo buntings measure 4.5 inches, or 11.4 cm, long with an 18-23 cm wingspan.

The Legs of Blue Finches and Indigo Buntings

If you’re in doubt, you can easily spot them by observing their legs.

The blue finches have a nice pair of dull reddish-colored legs. On the other hand, Indigos have mostly gray and black colored legs.

The Beak Shapes of Blue Finches and Indigo Buntings

In shape and color, blue finches and indigo buntings have notable differences between them. In fact, the color of the beak is the most distinctive trait that sets them apart.

The blue finches come with bright yellow bills, which are a bit longer. On the other hand, the dark gray colored beak of indigo buntings is petty looking. Also, the beaks are thick and short.

The vocalization of Blue Finches and Indigo Buntings

They have different styles in their songs and calls. They are all sweet and ear-pleasing.

Usually, blue finches’ whistles can change your mood in the morning and afternoon. Their whistle is repetitive and in a descending tone.

On the other hand, Indigo buntings are creative as singers. They sing almost 200 songs per hour throughout the day. They’re non-stop singers, but every song lasts for almost 2 seconds.

The Diet habit Blue finches and Indigo Buntings

These two different birds share the same eating habit. They both live on insects, various seeds, and other plants.

The main food of blue finches is stored in the ground. They eat several plant materials and weeds. But if they’re in a capititive situation, they can eat millet and mealworms as well. 

On the other hand, indigo buntings love eating blueberries, blackberries, and dandelions. Also, they are highly interested in caterpillars, aphids, and others.

The Nesting Habits of Blue Finches and Indigo Buntings

The little blue finches make their perfect nest with grass, leaves, twigs, and other vegetation. Mostly, they use 4 different kinds of vegetation to build their happy nest.

However, the lady blue finches lay 4-6 eggs in each grip. And the egg maturation lasts around 12-16 days.

Conversely, Indigo Buntings build their happy homes in fields and forests. They use shrubs for the nesting site and have a nest built within a fork.

In fact, the nest is only built by the female indigo. And the nest can take anywhere between 2-8 days to complete. The nest has the appearance of an open cup. Again, the nest is constructed with stalks, grass, and leaves and is covered in spider webs.

Then, the female indigo bunting lays 3-4 eggs in each grip. And the maturation of the eggs lasts 11-14 days. The eggs have brownish spots on the white surface.

The habitat of Blue Finches and Indigo Buntings

Do you want to differentiate them easily? Well, all you have to do is know about their habitat and geographical distribution.

Blue finches can be found in Brazil and Bolivia only. In fact, blue finches live mostly in Bolivia. In Brazil, they can’t be found as in Bolivia.

On the other hand, the indigo buntings live from eastern North America to northern South America. They also live in brushy and weedy areas. They love wooded areas as well as anywhere there is shrubby growth.


Are Indigo buntings rare?

No, they are not. In the locations where they are found, they are actually numerous.

But in other places, you might face difficulty in finding them.

Can you have an Indigo Bunting as a pet?

Well, I would love to tell you that you can have an Indigo Bunting as your pet. Basically, they are migratory birds. But can raise them in captivity.

Where do Blue Finches go in the winter?

They go to a cozy sleeping cavity to stay warm in the winter. They will also roost together in coniferous trees.

The bottom line

I hope you’re convinced about the differences between blue finches vs indigo buntings.

They are different types of birds but similar in appearance. By seeing the blue color, you might struggle to spot the name. Now, try to remember the feature differences.

Well, we’re wrapping up here, Have a great day. 

Leave a Reply