INDIGO

A flash of blue, and it’s gone. The Indigo Bunting is a little bird that moves about quite quickly. They do come to feeders, but I’ve chosen to not put out seed this summer – first because I think we provide ample native seed through all the varieties of grasses that grow on our property and second because there’s been a lot of hype recently of avian diseases that the experts claim are being spread through unclean feeders. I don’t know how one would keep a feeder perfectly clean, since only one infected bird needs to show up and leave the bacteria for the next birds to acquire. Even with daily washes, which seems impossible, there could still be a spread.

So, no Indigo Buntings or any other species are going to just present themselves to be filmed from the comfort of my patio. However, we have a few places that seem to attract the blue gems, and one is just outside my yard. It’s a spot that stays fairly wet, and we don’t mow there for that reason. The native grasses grow tall and proud and attract the Indigo Buntings quite regularly.

Here are some of the visitors I filmed yesterday.

This is a Juvenile Male

At first, I wasn’t sure what kind of bird this was, but the very small patches of blue on his head, made me realize it was a young bird that is just beginning to get his adult plumage. He is quite adept at reaching for the specific seed he’s seeking!

Adult male Indigo Bunting

These are photos of at least two different birds, perhaps three. The tall grass makes it hard to know which bird is coming out of the depths of the “jungle” so that I can capture an image. However, at one point I observed three males flying into the grass patch at the same time. In the final shot, there’s also a “fly by” that shows two birds in the same frame.

Such a brilliant blue they don – it makes me feel as if I’m in the tropics, not central Illinois!

Second Juvenile Male

It was far easier to determine this next bird was a juvenile male because he sports so much more of his future blue feathers. This guy was very entertaining as he clung to a blade of grass that didn’t fully support his weight. In the slight breeze, he bobbed about picking the seeds from this grass head.

I love these little birds and I’m so happy to be able to share them with you!

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