Table

 

Painted Bunting – Accepted

1. 13–14 Sep 1962

 

Tijuana R. valley SD

1986-100

14

 

2. 11 Oct 1962

 

Tijuana R. valley SD

1986-101

14

 

3. 10 Nov 1962

HY male

Tijuana R. valley SD

1986-041

10

ph., SDNHM 30488

4. 22 Sep 1963

 

Tijuana R. valley SD

1986-104

14

 

5. 28 Sep 1963

HY &

Tijuana R. valley SD

1986-040

10

ph., SDNHM 30783

6. 24 Jun 1966

SY male

~8 mi. w Santa Rosa SON

1985-139

14,25

ph., CAS 69789

7. 31 Aug 1971

 

Deep Springs INY

1987-339

14

 

8. 04 Nov 1972

AHY male

Furnace Creek Ranch INY

1973-050

2,9

 

9. 21–24 Sep 1974

 

Tijuana R. valley SD

1980-087

6

 

10. 10 Sep 1975

HY

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1987-121

14

ph.

11. 11 Sep 1975

 

Pt. Loma SD

1976-022

3

 

12. 27–28 Nov 1976

HY male

Scotty’s Castle INY

1976-122

3

ph., Roberson (1980)

13. 13 Nov 1978

 

~10 mi. n Blythe RIV

1988-102

14

 

14. 28 Sep 1979

HY

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1980-200

7

ph.

15. 10–15 Sep 1982

 

Pt. Loma SD

1982-078

8

ph.

16. 14–15 Sep 1982

 

Pt. Loma SD

1982-084

8

ph.

17. 17–26 Aug 1983

 

Goleta SBA

1983-058

8

 

18. 03 Oct 1983

 

Goleta SBA

1983-131

9

 

19. 12 Sep 1984

 

Lanphere Dunes HUM

1985-078

11

ph.

20. 14 Sep 1984

 

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1987-122

14

 

21. 27 Sep–06 Oct 1984

HY

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1987-123

14

ph.

22. 23 May 1986

ASY male

Oasis MNO

1986-262

11,25

ph.

23. 01–02 Sep 1986

HY

Gaviota SBA

1986-474

12

 

24. 23 Sep 1986

HY

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1987-058

12

ph.

25. 22 May 1987

ASY male

Scotty’s Castle INY

1987-138

12,25

 

26. 08 Sep 1987

HY

vic. Guadalupe SBA

1987-389

13

 

27. 04 Oct 1987

 

Pt. Loma SD

1987-387

13

 

28. 21 Nov 1987

HY male

Goleta SBA

1987-388

13

ph.

29. 18–19 Sep 1988

HY

Cambria SLO

1988-235

16

 

30. 29 Sep 1988

HY

Montaña de Oro State Park SLO

1989-032

15

ph.

31. 04–05 Nov 1988

 

Goleta SBA

1988-247

13

 

32. 15–17 Sep 1989

 

Carpinteria SBA

1989-156

15

 

33. 18 Sep 1989

HY

Goleta SBA

1989-157

16

 

34. 18–25 Nov 1989

 

Los Osos SLO

1989-186

15

ph.

35. 25 Sep 1990

HY

Furnace Creek Ranch INY

1990-170

16

 

36. 06 Oct 1990

 

vic. Cantil KER

1990-203

16

ph.

37. 15 Sep 1991

HY

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1991-165

17

ph.

38. 21 Sep 1991

HY

Furnace Creek Ranch INY

1991-117

17

 

39. 02–03 Sep 1992

 

Goleta SBA

1992-289

18

ph.

40. 04 Sep 1992

 

San Diego SD

1993-024

21

 

41. 15 Sep 1992

 

vic. Davenport SCZ

1992-247

21

 

42. 05 Oct 1992

HY

Southeast Farallon I. SF

1992-295

18

ph.

43. 06–07 Oct 1992

HY

Mojave KER

1992-282

18

 

44. 24 Aug 1993

HY male

Tijuana R. valley SD

1994-045

22

 

45. 02–05 Sep 1993

AHY male

Hole-in-the-Wall SBE

1993-137

20

ph.

46. 11 Sep 1993

HY

Furnace Creek Ranch INY

1993-134

19

ph.

47. 17–18 Sep 1993

HY

Huntington Beach ORA

1993-184

19

 

48. 25–27 Aug 1994

HY

Furnace Creek Ranch INY

1994-158

20

 

49. 04 Sep–24 Oct 1994

HY

Huntington Beach ORA

1994-150

22

one of two reported

50. 10 Sep 1994

HY

vic. Cantil KER

1994-201

20

ph.

51. 24 Sep 1994

 

Furnace Creek Ranch INY

1994-151

25

 

52. 05–10 Sep 1995

AHY male

Goleta SBA

1996-059

22,25

 

53. 03–17 Nov 1995

 

Santa Cruz SCZ

1995-132

21

ph.

54. 02–03 Dec 1995

 

Imperial Beach SD

1995-133

21

 

55. 01 Sep 1996

 

California City KER

1996-177

22

 

56. 15 Sep 1996

 

Huntington Beach ORA

1998-016

22

 

57. 09 Oct 1996

 

Big Sur R. mouth MTY

1997-046

23

 

58. 13 Sep 1997

 

Carpinteria SBA

1997-190

23

 

59. 13 Sep 1997

 

Huntington Beach ORA

1997-154

23

 

60. 24 Sep–10 Oct 1997

HY

Furnace Creek Ranch INY

1997-146

24

 

61. 21 Oct 1997

 

Southeast Farallon I. SF

2000-083

25

 

62. 06–07 Sep 1998

HY

vic. Cantil KER

1998-217

24

 

63. 19 Sep 1998

HY

Shasta R., vic. Grenada SIS

1999-036

24

 

64. 21 Sep 1998

HY

Furnace Creek Ranch INY

1998-144

24

 

65. 24–27 Sep 1998

HY

Ridgecrest KER

1998-210

24

 

66. 29 Sep 1998

HY

Pt. Reyes MRN

1998-172

24

 

67. 08 Oct 1998

AHY male

Twentynine Palms SBE

1998-223

24

 

68. 31 Aug–01 Sep 1999

 

Goleta SBA

2000-029

25

 

69. 07 Sep 1999

HY

Morongo Valley SBE

2001-047

25

ph.

70. 11–12 Sep 1999

HY

Galileo Hill KER

1999-186

25

 

71. 19 Sep 1999

 

Carmel R. mouth MTY

1999-185

25

 

72. 02 Oct 1999

 

Furnace Creek Ranch INY

1999-175A

25

 

73. 16–23 Oct 1999

 

Furnace Creek Ranch INY

1999-175B

25

 

74. 26–27 May 2000

ASY male

Furnace Creek Ranch INY

2000-086

27

 

75. 20–21 Aug 2000

HY male

Big Pine INY

2001-003

26

LACM 111517

76. 21 Aug 2000

 

Big Pine INY

2001-061

26

 

77. 27 Aug 2000

HY

Furnace Creek Ranch INY

2000-130

26

 

78. 27 Aug–02 Sep 2000

HY

Big Sur R. mouth MTY

2002-132

28

ph.

79. 30–31 Aug 2000

HY

vic. Big Pine INY

2000-118

26

 

80. 06 Sep 2000

HY

Big Sur R. mouth MTY

2002-133

28

ph.

81. 13 Sep 2000

HY

Pilarcitos Creek SM

2001-041

26

 

82. 20 Sep 2000

HY

Big Sur R. mouth MTY

2002-134

28

Roberson (2002:278)

83. 26 Sep 2000

HY

Southeast Farallon I. SF

2001-030

26

 

84. 30 Sep 2000

HY

Coyote Creek Field Station SCL

2002-129

27

 

85. 01 Oct 2000

Galileo Hill KER

2001-043

26

Fig. 312, ph., Beadle & Rising (2006)

86. 02 Oct 2000

HY

Ragged Pt. SLO

2001-049

26

 

87. 04–06 Oct 2000

 

Natural Bridges State Beach SCZ

2002-022

27

 

88. 06 Oct 2000

HY

Calipatria IMP

2000-127

26

 

89. 14 Oct 2000

HY

Big Sur MTY

2002-135

28

ph.

90. 21–22 Oct 2000

 

Encinitas SD

2000-146

27

 

91. 16 May 2001

 

Pt. Loma SD

2001-083

27

 

92. 22 Aug 2001

HY

Bishop INY

2002-030

27

 

93. 05 Sep 2001

HY

Big Sur R. mouth MTY

2001-187

27

 

94. 05–06 Sep 2002

 

Bishop INY

2002-216

28

ph.

95. 14 Sep 2002

 

Galileo Hill KER

2002-207

28

 

96. 18 Aug 2003

HY

Big Pine INY

2003-191

29

 

97. 22 Aug 2003

 

San Clemente I. LA

2003-141

29

ph., SDNHM 50815, remains found in Loggerhead Shrike cache

98. 31 Aug–16 Sep 2003

HY

Big Sur R. mouth MTY

2003-113A

29,30

 

99. 01–04 Sep 2003

 

Santa Cruz SCZ

2003-125

29

 

100. 07 Sep 2003

 

Deep Springs INY

2003-192

29

ph.

101. 15–22 Sep 2003

HY

Southeast Farallon I. SF

2003-136

29

ph.

102. 16 Sep 2003

HY

Big Sur R. mouth MTY

2003-113B

29,30

 

 

Painted Bunting – Not accepted, identification not established

04 May 1972

 

Morongo Valley SBE

1972-071

1

 

13 Mar 1975

 

Fremont ALA

1975-033

3

 

28 Mar 1975

2

vic. Bard IMP

1975-031

3

 

02 Jul–early Oct 1982

 

vic. Blythe RIV

1987-397

14

 

09 Sep 1986

 

San Clemente I. LA

1987-034

14

 

07 Oct 1989

 

Galileo Hill KER

1990-021

15

 

03 Sep 1993

 

Huntington Beach ORA

1995-013

23

 

14 Oct 1995

 

Cabrillo Beach LA

1996-058

22

 

20 Aug 1996

 

San Elijo Lagoon SD

1997-028

24

 

16 Oct 1999

 

Furnace Creek Ranch INY

1999-173

25

 

27 Sep 2003

 

Manhattan Beach LA

2003-185

29

 

 

Painted Bunting – Not accepted, natural occurrence questionable (identification established)

17–18 Apr 1972

ASY male

Sagehen Creek Field Station NEV

1988-229

14

ph., UCD 252

18 Apr 1972

ASY male

Imperial Beach SD

1972-010

1

 

18–28 Nov 1972

AHY male

Los Osos SLO

1986-270

14

 

07 Dec 1972–04 Mar 1973

ASY male

Cambria SLO

1984-078

9

ph.

03 Nov 1979

AHY male

Tijuana R. valley SD

1988-233

16

 

13 Sep 1987

AHY male

Tijuana R. valley SD

1988-055

13

 

21–25 Jan 1988

ASY male

San Luis Obispo SLO

1988-118

13

 

11–12 Nov 1988

AHY male

Huntington Beach ORA

1988-283

13

 

03 Jan 1989

ASY male

Camarillo VEN

1989-199

17

ph.

14 Feb–09 Apr 1989

ASY male

Santa Barbara SBA

1989-055

13

ph.

03 Jun 1989

ASY male

Coronado SD

1989-197

16

 

03–05 Nov 1991

AHY male

Santa Barbara SBA

1991-229

17

 

11–13 Jan 1993

ASY male

Chula Vista SD

1997-189

22

SDNHM 48279

23 Feb 1994

ASY male

Del Mar SD

1994-080

20

 

05–10 Nov 1995

AHY male

Hiouchi DN

1996-007

21

ph.

09 Jun 1996

ASY male

Big Pine INY

1996-105

24

 

01 Jul 1996

ASY male

Indian Wells Valley KER

1996-092

22

 

20–21 Mar 1997

ASY male

Chula Vista SD

1997-064

23

 

19 Apr 1997

ASY male

Corn Spring RIV

1997-090

25

Fig. 311, ph., Lukas (2000), cover WB 33(3)

12 Oct 1997

AHY male

Victorville SBE

1997-165

24

 

22 Nov–27 Dec 1997

AHY male

Pescadero SM

1997-210

23

 

31 Jul–01 Aug 1998

ASY male

Borrego Springs SD

1998-182

26

ph.

22 Dec 1998–18 Jan 1999

female AHY male

Niland IMP

1999-017

24

 

30 Dec 1999–08 Jan 2000

female AHY male

Tijuana R. valley SD

2000-047

25

 

13 Feb–22 Mar 2000

female ASY male

Long Beach LA

2000-061

26

ph.

22–24 Oct 2000

AHY male

Camarillo VEN

2000-136

26

ph.

17–27 Nov 2000

AHY male

Costa Mesa ORA

2000-150

26

 

25 Nov–02 Dec 2000

 

Los Angeles LA

2000-148

28

 

12 Jan 2001

female

Dana Point ORA

2001-077

27

 

15 Feb 2001

ASY male

La Mesa SD

2001-058

27

ph.

23 Sep 2001

ASY male

Torrance LA

2001-164

29

 

16–23 Nov 2001

ASY male

Tijuana R. valley SD

2001-198

27

 

29 Dec 2001

AHY male

Tijuana R. valley SD

2001-226

27

 

01–02 Aug 2002

ASY male

Arcadia, LA

2002-155

28

ph., previously banded

21 Feb 2003

 

Mission Bay SD

2003-029

29

ph.

 

Painted Bunting – Not submitted

17–24 Sep 1967

 

Tijuana R. valley SD

 

14

AFN 22:92

09–11 Mar 1969

 

Oakland ALA

 

14

AFN 23:518

21 Oct 1972

 

Kelso SBE

 

14

Garrett & Dunn (1981)

12 Oct 1974

 

Tijuana R. valley SD

 

14

AB 29:124

04 Oct 1977

 

Vallecito SD

 

14

AB 32:264

17 Oct 1980

 

Ventura VEN

 

14

AB 35:228

17 Sep 1981

 

Deep Springs INY

 

 

AB 36:220

24 Aug 1994

 

Tijuana R. valley SD

 

 

AB 48:154

04 Sep–24 Oct 1994

 

Huntington Beach ORA

 

 

Hamilton & Willick (1996), see table entry 49

31 Aug 1996

 

Huntington Beach ORA

 

 

FN 51:122

04 Sep 1998

 

Iron Mtn. Pumping Plant SBE

 

 

NAB 53:107

06–14 Sep 1998

 

Newport Beach ORA

 

 

NAB 53:107

06 Oct 1998

 

Huntington Beach ORA

 

 

NAB 53:107

15–19 Sep 1999

 

Huntington Beach ORA

 

 

NAB 54:107

15 Apr 2000

 

Santee SD

 

 

NAB 54:328

10 Sep 2000

 

vic. Samoa HUM

 

 

NAB 55:101

19–20 Feb 2001

 

La Mesa SD

 

 

NAB 55:229

13 Oct 2001

 

Mojave Narrows Regional Park SBE

 

 

NAB 56:108

29 Dec 2001

 

Tijuana R. valley SD

 

 

NAB 56:225

31 Aug 2002

 

Lincoln Park SF

 

 

NAB 57:115

05 Nov 2002

 

Tijuana R. valley SD

 

 

NAB 57:119

01–10 Feb 2003

 

Escondido SD

 

 

NAB 57:259

02 Feb 2003

 

ORA

 

 

NAB 57:259

01 May 2003

 

Castaic LA

 

 

NAB 57:405

29 Aug–06 Sep 2003

 

Huntington Beach ORA

 

 

NAB 58:145

06 Sep 2003

Huntington Beach ORA

 

 

NAB 58:145

22 Nov 2003

 

Tijuana R. valley SD

 

 

NAB 58:145

 

 

 

 

 

Figures

Image3131.TIF

Figure 311. Adult male Painted Buntings were a thorn in the side of Committee members for decades because of persistent questions about the origin of these birds. In 2005 the number of accepted Painted Bunting records finally exceeded 100 and the frequency of occurrence surpassed four per year, leading the CBRC to vote this troublemaker off the review list. Part of the problem is that, in contrast to those of green birds, records of colorful males are not particularly concentrated during spring and fall migration periods. One record not endorsed by the CBRC refers to this immaculate male, photographed at Corn Spring in Riverside County on the somewhat early spring date of 19 April 1997 (1997-090; Joe Fuhrman).

 

Image3131.TIF

Figure 312. This Painted Bunting, photographed on 1 October 2000 at Galileo Hill in Kern County (2001-043; Larry Sansone), was initially published as a first-fall bird (McKee and Erickson 2002). In response, C. W. Thompson (in litt.) suggested that it “almost certainly” was an adult female in definitive alternate plumage, citing uniformly worn plumage and lack of contrast between outer primary coverts and outer primary edgings. The bird does not appear to be particularly worn, however, and it would be odd for the onset of prebasic molt to be delayed into October (see Thompson 1991a, Fig. 7). The bird’s yellow gape and its replaced tertial, inner greater covert, and outer median coverts may indicate a first-fall bird starting preformative molt. It is perhaps best left unaged.

 

 

Image3131.TIF

Figure 439. Distribution of 102 Painted Buntings accepted through 2003. Four out of every five occurrences (83 of 102) come from the southeastern deserts and the coast from Monterey County southward. Ten of the other 19 records come from Southeast Farallon Island.

 

Image3131.TIF

Figure 440. Seasonal occurrence of the Painted Bunting, comparing accepted records with those for which natural occurrence was deemed questionable. The two classes of record are superimposed upon each other (e.g., the first half of November shows five accepted and four not-accepted records, values that are reversed in the second half of that month). Records questioned by the Committee are scattered through the year and most involve adult males on the coastal slope, some of which showed signs of possible or probable captivity (e.g., abnormally faded plumage, broken feathers, scars on the head, ill-fitting bands). But the data might also be seen as mirroring this species’ apparently “natural” utilization of feeders during winter in the Midwest and the East. The appearance of a weakly bimodal pattern of fall occurrence may reflect birds migrating before and after completion of the prebasic/preformative molt.

 

Image3131.TIF

Figure 441. Annual occurrence of the Painted Bunting in California. After a trickle of records through the 1960s and 1970s, the rate of occurrence increased from 1980 through 2003. The 18 individuals accepted in 2000 exceeded the combined total for the 1960s and 1970s by four, and fell just two short of the total for the 1980s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Painted Bunting

PAINTED BUNTING Passerina ciris (Linnaeus, 1758)

Accepted: 102 (68%)

Treated in Appendix H: yes

Not accepted: 47

CBRC review: records through 2004

Not submitted/reviewed: 27

Large color images:see Figures

As reviewed by Mlodinow and Hamilton (2005), this bunting breeds in two populations in the southern United States and northern Mexico. The larger, western population includes all of P. c. pallidior plus the western component of P. c. ciris, a taxonomic division discredited by Thompson (1991b) because the subspecies limits do not conform to these allopatric populations. The western population breeds from eastern New Mexico and southern Kansas to the Gulf coast of Mississippi, locally east along the coast through the Florida panhandle, and south to Chihuahua and northern Tamaulipas. Birds of this population winter from southern Texas (very rare) and Sinaloa south along the Pacific and Atlantic slopes of Middle America to Panama. The eastern population breeds from southeastern North Carolina south to central Florida and winters from southern Florida south through the northern West Indies. The species has strayed as far north as Saskatchewan and northern Ontario, but less ambitious individuals—often adult males at feeders—are encountered with some regularity across much of central and eastern North America. Spring vagrancy is the rule in the continental interior and along the Atlantic slope north of New York into the Maritime Provinces, whereas late fall/winter vagrancy is more typical in parts of the East that lie closer to the normal range. The species is a regular late-summer and early-fall visitor to southeastern Arizona and occurs casually farther west, mainly in fall, from southwestern British Columbia (adult male photographed at Richmond 1–4 August 1995 fide R. Toochin) south to Baja California Sur. In the Pacific Northwest, a green bird was present 21 March–4 April 2006 in southwestern British Columbia (NAB 60:424, 425), an adult male was present 10 February–3 March 2002 in northwestern Washington, and an adult male was present during “late December” 1999 in southwestern Oregon.

California’s first five Painted Buntings were found in the Tijuana River valley, San Diego County, during the autumns of 1962 and 1963 (McCaskie et al. 1967b). Through 2003, the state claimed 102 CBRC-endorsed records, all but a handful from the southern two-thirds of the state (Figure 439); see also Appendix H. Nearly nine out of every ten accepted fall records (86 of 97) involve birds first detected between 17 August and 16 October, with a peak in early September (see Figure 440, which charts all dates of occurrence). The remaining fall records extend to 3 December, with a minor peak in mid November. This temporal pattern may partially reflect the western population’s molt-migration strategy, in which most birds undergo prebasic/preformative molt during migratory stopovers in southwestern deserts before continuing on to the wintering grounds (Thompson 1991a). Plumages of birds studied in California suggest that the bimodal pattern results from birds migrating before and after these molts. Birds of the eastern population do not employ this strategy, molting instead on the breeding grounds (Thompson 1991a).

The CBRC has endorsed five spring/summer records, three involving adult males in late May at desert oases, one of a green bird present on 16 May 2001 on Pt. Loma in San Diego County, and one of a year-old male collected on 24 June 1966 about eight miles west of Santa Rosa in Sonoma County.

Records of this species were frustratingly difficult for the Committee to evaluate. This hardy bird is, by far, the most common wild bird for sale in pet shops in northwestern Baja California (Hamilton 2001), and records of Painted Buntings found in California during summer and winter periods—those of adult males especially—are believed to involve escapees in many cases (see Figure 440). The species’ occurrence during periods of migration may also be suspect. For example, the first record of a Painted Bunting that the CBRC deemed to be of questionable natural occurrence is of an adult male with yellowish underparts and a scar between the orbits that turned up on 17 April 1972 at the remote Sagehen Creek Field Station, Nevada County, and was collected the following day (Hawthorne 1972). The record of an adult male present 1–2 August 2002 in Arcadia, Los Angeles County, was not accepted because the ill-fitting band on its leg appeared to be other than a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service band. A detailed review and analysis of all Painted Bunting records in California through the fall of 1998 (see Erickson and Hamilton 2001:42-44) revealed that first-year birds—along with green birds that were not reliably aged or sexed—strongly predominated among fall records, whereas adult males accounted for nearly all of the spring, summer, and winter reports (green birds have since started to appear in winter, three times alongside adult males). As noted by Johnson (1994), “increasing evidence on the nature of spring and summer vagrants, as documented by accumulated records in American Birds and other sources, points to males as the predominant sex of individuals leading the vanguard of spring-summer range expansion” (emphasis in the original). This general tendency may offer the best explanation for why green birds predominate so clearly during fall but not in spring/summer. Winter records, particularly those involving adult males and multiple birds, remain more suspect.

The above-mentioned status review recommended that the CBRC reconsider the state’s three accepted spring records, plus a not-accepted early fall record of an adult male in faded plumage. Through this process, the Committee reaffirmed the three spring records and endorsed the fall record. It bears noting that two records of adult males from Inyo and Kern Counties in June and July 1996 were not accepted by the Committee at around the time the earlier spring records were being reaffirmed. This reflected a situation in which enough members voted to prevent overturning the previously accepted spring records, but the new records—although seemingly comparable—lacked the supermajority needed for acceptance. Records can, of course, undergo further review if the CBRC identifies apparent inconsistencies that warrant reconsideration.

Records from outside of the fall migration period and those of high-plumaged males continue to raise doubts. The issue is particularly pressing in San Diego County, where Unitt (2004) concluded that “the Painted Bunting occurs . . . mainly as an escapee from captivity” and that “identifying any particular individual as a vagrant rather than escapee is now impossible.” Unitt acknowledged that the first wave of records from the Tijuana River valley “almost certainly” involved legitimate vagrants, and the CBRC has, over the course of many years, endorsed the legitimacy of numerous San Diego County records (see Figure 439). Each of the accepted records involves an apparent fall or spring migrant, and none refers to a bird showing irregularities that suggested prior captivity. Out of the ten records from this county most recently reviewed by the CBRC (dating back to 20 March 1997), six are from winter, two are from fall, and one each is from spring and late summer. Eight of the ten were not accepted on the basis of questionable natural occurrence. Another five winter, three spring, and two late fall reports from San Diego County since 1998 were never submitted for CBRC review (fide P. Unitt, San Diego Bird Atlas data). The considerable incongruity between this recent pattern of occurrence and California’s overall pattern, shown in Figure 440, supports the notion that escaped and released birds now make up a considerable fraction of the Painted Buntings found in San Diego County.

Nevertheless, Figure 441 shows that the frequency of CBRC-accepted records statewide increased more rapidly than is likely to be explained by changes in observer practices, and there is little reason to believe that releases of Painted Buntings increased by such a margin. As hypothesized by Mlodinow and Hamilton (2005), comparable increases in this species’ rate of extralimital occurrence across much of North America since 1970, particularly in winter and spring, may reflect “a shift in distribution whose causes include both climate change and the relatively constant availability of food” at backyard feeding stations. On the other hand, Sykes et al. (2006) found illegal trapping of Painted Buntings to be “widespread in southeastern Florida.” The recent cessation of CBRC review (immediately after acceptance of the 100th individual) will hamper future efforts to evaluate the Painted Bunting’s patterns of occurrence in California. Of course, the most recent decade had seen a steady decline in observer willingness to submit records of this species, and this was undermining the integrity and usefulness of the CBRC’s Painted Bunting database before review stopped. Thus, in a sense, the escapees won out, having taxed the forbearance of the birding community and the Committee to the point where retreat came to be viewed as the most attractive option.