Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening

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-   -   Indigo bunting! (http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/forum/birds-including-raptors-hummers/8564-indigo-bunting.html)

linrose 06-01-2011 02:54 PM

Indigo bunting!
I just saw an Indigo bunting at the feeder! Their color is so striking. I don't see them very often, perhaps they prefer insects to seed and I just overlook them. I think they are plentiful in the East during summertime but I rarely see them. It feels like my lucky day!

philip 06-01-2011 03:31 PM

They are amazing looking creatures.
Good stuff, this will be my bird of the day.

jack 06-01-2011 04:25 PM

I saw one only once, and it was an amazing experience. Congrats on seeing one on your property. I didn't even know they went to feeders.

Amazingly beautiful color, they have.

Get a picture if he hangs around for a few days!!!!

dapjwy 06-01-2011 07:27 PM

I saw one coming for black oil sunflower seeds this spring...the first time I saw one in real life.

Gloria 06-01-2011 11:21 PM

Lucky you. The very best reason for bird feeders is to get a look at some amazing birds. Maybe he will hang around for a few days.

linrose 06-02-2011 07:21 AM

He was at a black oil sunflower feeder, will he move on or perhaps nest nearby?

havalotta 06-02-2011 01:07 PM

Oh wouldn't THAT be great!

Gloria 06-02-2011 01:57 PM

Kentucky is one of the states where numbers are high for breeding.
Check out the distribution maps.
Distribution of the Indigo Bunting

And habitat requirements.



Food...Small insects, spiders, seeds, buds, and berries.

Breeds in brushy and weedy areas along edges of cultivated land, woods, roads, power line rights-of-way, and in open deciduous woods and old fields.
Winters in weedy fields, citrus orchards, and weedy cropland.Some wintering in Florida but mostly tropical migration.

Nest Description
Open cup of soft leaves, coarse grasses, stems, and strips of bark, held in place with spider web, lined with fine grasses or deer hair. Placed in shrub or herbaceous plant close to ground.

linrose 06-07-2011 07:33 PM

Well, the indigo bunting is still here. I saw him today at the feeder and my daughter saw him over the weekend. There must be a nest nearby but I don't know their habits, I'll have to do some research on them. I have no idea what the females look like but they are about the size of a finch and we have lots of goldfinches at the feeder too.

dapjwy 06-07-2011 07:46 PM

Thanks for reminding me--I forgot to post that I spotted a glimpse of an indigo bunting (I think) flitting around in my hedgerow...I believe a more drab (brownish) female was with him...I'll have to grab the bird book to see what she looks like.

<getting book, flipping through pages>

Yup! She is brown...so, I'm guessing that is what I saw: a pair of indigo buntings.

Sage 06-07-2011 08:44 PM


ButterflyLinda 07-17-2011 09:49 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Does anyone know if this blue bird in my first pic is an Indigo Bunting? I had a great bird day today and I'm trying to sort them out.
As far as the second, more colorful bird in the second pic I'm pretty sure it is a male Painting Bunting, although I haven't seen one before today.

Gloria 07-17-2011 10:14 PM

Wow, yes and yes!!!

dapjwy 07-17-2011 10:26 PM

1 Attachment(s)
You sure did have a great bird day, ButterflyLinda. Thanks for sharing.

I've never seen the painted bunting before...and what I have been calling an indigo bunting, looks different than your pic. Hmm...

Here is one I saw today:

Gloria 07-17-2011 10:48 PM

Oh no, that's a blue grosbeak in Butterfly Linda's pic. duh.

Gloria 07-17-2011 10:51 PM

Identification Keys and Tips - "Blue" Grosbeaks and Buntings

I'm pretty sure you are right about the painted bunting. We saw a few in louisiana several years ago with a really good birder.

Gloria 07-17-2011 11:03 PM

I have seen the blue bunting in my garden a couple of times . Once it stayed around for a few days. Probably headed to breeding grounds. They have a smaller more fagile look than the grosbeak.

ButterflyLinda 07-17-2011 11:59 PM

Oh, yes, I see now...it IS a Blue Grosbeak! Thank you! I think more birds are coming around here lately because the drought is so severe in Texas that they might not have enough food and water where they usually would be staying. I'm having trouble keeping up with the wildlife...feeding birds, deer, hummingbirds, a family of free-range chckens (don't know where they came from, but not unusual in this area) and whatever other wildlife that shows up to eat with the deer and birds...or to steal my figs. And I put out quite a few water containers on my place. Build it and they will come, I guess.

dapjwy 07-18-2011 08:30 AM


Originally Posted by Gloria (Post 94118)
Identification Keys and Tips - "Blue" Grosbeaks and Buntings

I'm pretty sure you are right about the painted bunting. We saw a few in louisiana several years ago with a really good birder.

Thanks, Gloria.

The side-by-side comparison makes it very clear, but when I scrolled down to see the additional pics (as thumbnails) they looked pretty similar again. ;)

I've really enjoyed seeing the indigo buntings periodically for several months now. :)

dapjwy 07-18-2011 08:34 AM


Originally Posted by ButterflyLinda (Post 94121)
...I'm having trouble keeping up with the wildlife...Build it and they will come, I guess.


I hope you are enjoying your overload. :)

Gloria 07-18-2011 11:21 AM

dapjwy, If you are seeing them over a longer summer period like this they must have breed nearby. Young look more like females. The males start to show blue and various amounts of brown streaking can be visible.
The first time I saw a blue bunting male in a city garden I thought someones pet had gotten loose. a friend told me what it was. Wildlife gardening introduced me to many birds that I thought did not wander cities.

dapjwy 07-20-2011 01:48 PM

Thanks for your comments, Gloria.

I do suspect they are nesting in or near our yard. :) Very nice.

I had only seen them in my bird book until last year or so when I saw one in our yard. I can see how you would think it was a pet bird! :) Glad to hear you see them (and others) where you wouldn't expect to find them.

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