Ornithologists have long been fascinated by an apparent disjunction in the breeding distribution of the Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris), with previous studies reporting a 550 km gap between a coastal population along the south Atlantic and an interior population in the southcentral United States. However, these studies have overlooked breeders in the Black Belt Ecoregion of central Alabama and eastern Mississippi. Using data from our own fieldwork, the North American Breeding Bird Survey, eBird, and breeding bird atlas projects, we document that the Painted Bunting occurs within the gap described in previous publications. The presence of these birds raises further questions regarding the status of the Painted Bunting in the Southeast and may be relevant to future research and conservation efforts targeting this species.
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