<h2> Our first sighting at our home of an Indigo Bunting (male) <h2>
Unfortunately, I don’t have the skill to get a decent photo myself, but here’s a lovely picture courtesy of Pixabay. As you can see, “Indigo” certainly an accurate description of this gorgeous birds’ spring plumage!
Encouraged by the sighting of one of these incredibly beautiful boys from our front porch, I pulled up some information about them. Here it is:
“Passerina cyanea” is described by my iBird app as a “small finch with brilliant, almost iridescent, blue plumage.” The hens and juveniles are much more plain, brown with streaky bellies and only a tinge of blue on their shoulders and tails. Young males will acquire their distinctive blue plumage over the course of their first couple of years.
They summer throughout the East and Midwest of the US, as well as all the way over to south and central Arizona and Texas, and up into the lower parts of Canada. They spend their winters in the tropics and in southern Florida. Their preferred habitats consist of forest edges, woodland clearing, old fields that have grown up into scrub, and brushy slopes.
Indigo Buntings will eat insects, berries and seeds. They’ll be attracted to a thistle seed feeder or to nyjer seed, and I’ve hung one up a little way away from the feeder on my porch.
Allaboutbirds.org states that they’ll “swish their tails from side to side while perching”, although I’ve not had a chance to observe this yet.
They’ll sing from the tallest perch they can find, and may be spotted while foraging through shrubs and grasses for food. Said to be solitary in the breeding season, they’ll flock up in the fall into large flocks to migrate and winter.
The National Audubon Society calls them the most abundant songbird in some parts of the East, singing on every roadside.
Females are much harder to spot, though, as they stay busy taking care of the eggs and chicks, in the cup-shaped nest she’s built, hidden in a dense thicket. She lays 3 or 4 white or bluish-white eggs that are spotted with brown or purple, and incubates them alone for 12 to 14 days. She usually feeds them alone, but some males will feed chicks that have fledged while the hen starts the second clutch of eggs.
Www.audubon.org says that some males will have multiple hens nesting in their territory, in nests built between a foot and three feet above the ground, although some hens will build up to 30 feet up in a tree!
I encourage you to hang a thistle or nyger seed feeder for these wonderful little songbirds at your home (if you’re in range), and enjoy the sight of a deep blue finch streaking across your yard!
As always, questions, corrections or criticism is always welcome at FlamingPurpleJellyfish@gmail.com. Have a wonderful day!
With Grace and Gratitude
#EasternKentuckywildbirds #bluebirds #bluefinch #migratory songbirds