Saturday, May 17, 2014

Indigo Bunting in the Garden

I had a rare sighting this week of the small bird called the Indigo Bunting. It is found on the eastern side of North America and prefers woodland clearings and borders. According to the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, I saw a male in his first spring plumage.


This male Bunting is considered to be in his first spring plumage because his wings still have brown colouring. He would more uniformly blue if he was an adult male.


This fellow did not move much from his perch at the feeder. Other birds move around, fly away and return, but not Indigo. He sat and took what seed he could from where he sat. I saw this same behaviour two days in a row, for that was the length of time he stayed.

 One last thing I noticed at the feeder was that other birds ignored Indigo Bunting. When a male cardinal came by while Indigo and a sparrow were feasting the cardinal scared off the sparrow but left Indigo alone.


I think he may migrate with other birds like the warblers. If you would like to see some great photos of warblers passing through the area this spring, visit Donna's blog Garden Walk, Garden Talk. She was lucky to catch them in her neighborhood of Niagara Falls USA in the past week or so.


17 comments:

  1. What a little beauty! And how nice of you to colour coordinate his surroundings, not knowing he was paying a visit :)

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    1. A trick of the camera my dear. Even his colour is a tad bright.

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  2. Lucky you! To have such a beautiful bird visit your bird table. It's almost to blue to be true.

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    1. He is a beautiful bird. Since living in this house of 13 years I have never seen the Indigo Bunting before.

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  3. So interesting! I'm reading about plentiful sightings of indigo buntings this year. And we've had some coming to the feeders for the first time that I can remember. I've seen them in the woods before, but never at the feeder. Your captures are great--such an amazing color!

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    1. Maybe then we will see these birds more often in the future. I certainly would love to see him again.

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  4. Happy Victoria Day! We have never had the pleasure of an Indigo Bunting visiting our feeders.What a pretty bird! I wonder what caused him to wander out of his usual territory?

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    1. I wish I could answer that question Jennifer. My only guess is that perhaps it travels with the warblers and that sometimes they end up on slightly different routes due to weather.

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  5. I've never seen these before. They are so beautiful! We have eastern bluebirds and blue jays, which is the closest I've come to a completely blue bird. But how I would love to see a bunting! :o)

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    1. At first I thought I was seeing a bluebird, and was excited because I have never seen one of them before. But the bunting is all blue whereas the bluebird has a red chest. Either way it was a great sighting of a new bird for me.

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  6. Patty girl what a fantastic blue this bird is ! he matches the blue on the feeder almost ? LOL
    We are fascinated by our Goldfinches ... they just about glow in the dark with that neon yellow .. we see a few other varieties too ... but the Goldfinches are the stars in my back garden ... great pictures girl !
    Joy : )

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    1. Thanks Joy. I occasionally see the goldfinches and once in a while they sit on my coneflowers and gaura and eat seed. The male is of course a sight for sore eyes. Lucky you to see them regularly at the feeder!

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  7. Patty, in the past few years I have been introduced to many colourful birds from your part of the world which we don't see here in the UK. What about this Indigo Bunting though, haven't seen him before, marvellous, thanks for the introduction.

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    1. We are lucky to have some very brightly coloured birds like the Indigo Bunting, Cardinal, Goldfinch, BlueJay, Oriole. Once you have seen them you hope to see them all the time for that amazing flash of colour.

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  8. Thank you Patty. I just got back to NF and saw Indigo Buntings at my cousin's mountain home. They were too darn shy and quick to get a good image. Any movement and they were off. You should be very proud to have gotten those images. Very nice. You know, they seem a lot more numerous this year. I wonder if they are moving more north than normal? I saw a breeding pair at a local park here too. No good photos there either.

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    1. Hi Donna, one of the other comments also mentioned that they seemed more numerous this year. Maybe they are on a high cycle in regards to increased births. Anyone's guess.

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  9. Patty I would love to see these in my garden but that would be a miracle....how wonderful for you to get these shots!!

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