Sunday, June 8, 2008

Indigo Bunting



No real unusual bird sightings this week. The weather has been extremely hot but the bird activity has been consistent. The humming birds come in all day to lick nectar. Remember if your feeding them to change your nectar more often during hotter weather. I usually change it twice a week and this week I changed it three times.

Now to this weeks bird the indigo bunting. While this is probably not a common bird in most peoples back yard, it is a bird that can be found with a little effort.

As you can see from the picture the male is a deep vibrant blue with scattered dark markings on the wings and tail. It's actually a black bird and does not have any blue pigment at all in its feathers. Like the blue jay, sun is refracted with in the structure of the feathers making them appear blue. When you see one in the sun they really light up and appears iridescent. The male is usually the only indigo noticed as the female is a light brown bird with faint markings. The juveniles are similar to the female.

As far as habitat is concerned, they can be found in brush and low trees near open areas. I usually see them high in tree tops over a stream in a near by park. So the best suggestion is to check with your local bird store or park to see where they can be found in your area.

Their food source includes insects, seeds and fruit. They will visit seed feeders in the spring before insects are available. Normally they forage on the ground and in low foliage for it's food sources.

They construct a cup type nest that the female builds. It's constructed of dead leaves, weed stems, grasses and then lined with finer grasses and downy materials. They will produce two broods a year. They lay 3-4 eggs which are pale blue with no markings. The incubation period last 12-13 days and the female incubates. The fledgling stage is 10-11 days and the female feeds the young.

They are a bird that migrates and it's complete to southern Florida, Mexico Central and South America. They are another bird that migrates at night in flocks of 5-10 birds.

If you have not seen one of these extremely beautiful birds, I strongly recommend getting out while there in your area and try to find one. They are really one of the most beautiful birds you can seek out and is one of my top 5 favorite birds.

Remember to vote in the side bar for next weeks bird. The American Goldfinch already has 2 votes this week and the Downy Woodpecker has 1. Those votes are carry over from last week. Until next week try and stay cool if your in the recent heat wave on the east coast and remember to give the birds some water.

21 comments:

Renna said...

The Indigo Bunting is a bird I have only seen in pictures. I'd love to see one someday! With their bright feathers, they look like a tropical bird.

Thanks for all the info. I always appreciate your thorough descriptions and information on the birds you hightlight.

Remington said...

Renna...:...I enjoy reading your comments as much as j do posting about the birds. I'm glad your finding the information useful. It's the people who leave comments and vote on the next bird that drives me to keep posting. Thanks for all the kind words and I always look forward to hearing from you and anyone who takes the time to comment.

Toni said...

Wow, what a beautiful creature! I so agree with Renna that the intense color makes this gem look like a tropical bird. Have not seen one around these parts (nor when I was in OH) but I would soooo love to spot one.
Love,
Pone

eulea said...

Saw a male this morning and hope to attract them to the water garden and feeders I have. I will use this information to help attract them. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Twice in the past week and a half I have seen a male indigo bunting in my front yard. He sits on the low boulder wall we have facing the wood-line and just sings away! It is VERY early in the morning that i see him, usually between 6 - 6:30 am. He is Beautiful!!! What do i do to make sure he keeps coming back?

Remington said...

they are fruit eaters. You can try planting some berry bushes such as black and blue berries. While it may not pay off this summer it will help next. Also they are most likely to visit your seed feeders in the spring. If you have the berries to back that up they may stay. The key will be if they have the proper habitat for them to nest. Let me know how it turns out with updates if they stay or leave

Julia Smith said...

Hi - I've popped over from Toni's blog. I've never had the pleasure to see a blue bird other than a blue jay. How I'd love to see a real bluebird with my own eyes.

Anonymous said...

We had an Indigo Bunting at our feeder three times this week!
He seems to really be sorting through the seeds before he picks something.
I'm going to try and find some millet to add to the seed mixture so it will be easier for him to find what he likes. I knew that we get buntings each year but they stay in the ravine. We've got plenty of smart weed and I have naturalized phlox.
I have never, however, seen one at the feeder until this week.

Anonymous said...

While visiting relatives in Catoosa, Oklahoma I saw a male Indigo Bunting. Sadly, I have not seen one in Ocean, NJ since 20 years ago when the area began to be "developed".

Anonymous said...

Union County in North Carolina is loded with Indigo Buntings. I saw at leat 10 or more this evening.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the poor spelling. I should prove read more than I do. Union County,North Carolina

P.S Saw a bald eagle here last fall near a pond eating a fish.

JB said...

Saw my first indigo bunting today. Saw a male early in the morning and a female in late afternoon. Great! So happy! Check out my website @ www.birdsofohio.webnode.com

Anonymous said...

i saw one here yesterday in galveston texas, first one ive seen and was beautiful

Julie said...

I saw a male indigo bunting this afternoon flying from tree to tree. I live in northern IL and I have never seen one before. I am going to try to attract them to my yard. They are so beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I had a male Indigo in my back yard last week. Arnold, Missouri!

Anonymous said...

I just had a male bunting in my back yard today (Minneapolis, MN). Beautiful!

Todd Johnson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Todd Johnson said...

I see them pretty often I am very blessed to see them and many of the other desirable birds in central IN This is a revived trio of buntings that tried to chase the female into my picture window http://i762.photobucket.com/albums/xx269/good2btodd/Copyofnewpics030.jpg

chrisdeziel said...

Saw a male at my Funchal feeder this morning. Even though there was a light rain, it was stunning.

Time, 8:30 a.m. Location, Elmsford, NY

Unknown said...

Just had one at my finch feeder in west MI today. Was shocked to see such color! I wonder how to attract it to return?

peggy said...

I have seen a female bunting here for a couple of weeks now and have been watching for a male. He finally appeared yesterday (very briefly) but not long enough to get a photo! He has not come to the feeder like the female, but was foraging from the ground under it and around the trees.