What a wonderful surprise it was to glance down at one of our feeders and see this beautiful, perhaps first spring, Indigo Bunting. I don’t like posting photos of birds at the feeder, but he was so skittish I was just glad to capture him at all.
We haven’t spotted him since this photo was taken and we are hoping, after being in its breeding range this spring and summer, he is well on his way to winter ranges.
`deep-colored bright blue overall (breeding plumage)
`only North American small finch to appear blue all over
`dark blue to black lores
`blue edging to blackish wings and tail
`dark gray conical bill
`plain, but beautiful brown
`two tawny buff wing bars
`short, gray, conical bill
`blue-edged feathers on wings and tail
`populations are expanding with the creation of disturbed habitat after logging, highway and power line construction and from farmland abandonment (yeah to expanding)
`likes forest edges, roadsides, hedges, dry brush lands, orchards, open woods, creeks and rivers
`eats grasshoppers, beetles, weevils, aphids, cicadas, cankerworms, span worms, flies, dandelion seeds, aster, thistle, grasses, grains, berries and more
`nests in raspberry and other shrubs
`song is a sweet-sweet, where-where, here-here, see-it/see-it (pretty melody)
`many are killed, while migrating at night, striking power lines and tall buildings (wind farms next?)
`neotropical migrant, flight speed measured at 20 m.p.h
`common hosts to cowbird parasitism 😦
**If you want to learn more about the Indigo Bunting, please go to The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds, Smithsonian Handbooks, Birds of North America and Stokes Field Guide to Birds. I used these sources for my information.
Added to my Birding Life List
Sky Rocket Road, Loveland, Colorado
(with my amazing birding mentor- Ann Means)
Photos taken at South Llano River State Park in April of 2014 while sitting in a bird blind. I was using my Canon 70D with Canon EF 75-300mm 1:4-5.6 lens (no stabilization).