The VARIED BUNTING is an exceptionally rare vagrant in California with but 2 or 3 records. I was involved in finding one of them. All of my California records are listed below:
K 11/18/77 Mesquite Springs INY male; 1st modern CA recordI took the following description (copied from my notes):
found by Donna Dittmann as we birded this site together; I quickly rushed to confirm & document after she spotted the bird.
See the family page for county abbreviations. All photos & text © 2001 Don Roberson; all rights reserved.
Varied Bunting 18 Nov 1977: "Found in large mesquite by Donna Dittmann where we watched it for leisure for 20 min. at up to 20 ft. in good light with 8X35 binos. Photographed.
Description -- small dark bunting -- look black at distance. Breast and back coppery plum, wings & tail dark blue-black, face around bill black, rest of face & crown coppery blue, nape (in sun) red. Bill shiny silverish, eye dark, legs dark. Belly dark purple, feathers molting -- extreme tips at belly feathers and wing coverts buffy. Donna saw blue rump. Tail bluer at base.
1st truly acceptable state record."
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