It was a nasty overcast morning and I was a little disappointed not to be out birding…until the birdie party came to me! Rich and I have been observing Painted Buntings at our feeders all throughout our Christmas break, but only one bird at a time. This morning I looked out and saw two little green birds at the feeder!!
One bird sat quietly at the feeder and ate. The other bounced around from port to port, bobbing its little head around like crazy. I wondered if it was a juvenile, especially when it fluttered at the window as it tried to hop onto our window black-oil sunflower seed feeder. He hopped back to the branches next to the feeder, then back onto the feeder. I was surprised when he turned upside down looking for an upside-down port. I thought only American Goldfinches were happy to eat upside down! But I guess we did see the buntings hanging out with the goldfinches a few days ago, around the niger feeder. I guess maybe the buntings are learning the habit. That’s funny.
I thought it was so cool just to have the two green birds visiting, and then the male hopped down onto the feeder! So we had a total of three this morning. I never get tired of photographing the male buntings. They are so pretty! I wish the light were better. I should go clean that window, too. :)
Then this afternoon, we ate out on the porch (happy Squirt!) and saw another bunting on the seed cake feeder in our crape myrtle, next to the niger feeder for the goldfinches. Maybe that’s why we had goldfinches mingling the bunting the other day. I laughed this afternoon as I saw a goldfinch hop onto the seed cake and the bunting chased it away! The bunting climbed all over the seed cake, completely tolerant of Rich and me eating on the porch not ten feet away.
I’ve started reporting my buntings on paintedbuntings.org. They track the movements of the birds, especially the increased population in Florida this winter.