The Painted Buntings held a little party in the backyard tonight. Previously I’ve only seen four little green birds together. Tonight there were five, joined by the first male bird we’ve seen in about a month! It was such fun to watch them hopping around the yard, sampling millet at the feeder and enjoying the clover and wild grasses that I’ve let grow for them.
The male stayed under the cover of the viburnum when he wasn’t at the feeder, but the little green birds moved around a lot. I was standing at the back of the house, taking pictures with The Beast through the (somewhat dirty) window. The birds flew into the rose bed right in front of me. I was thrilled when one hopped into ‘Queen Elizabeth’ and posed. I think the pale pink has a nice contrast to the green bird. Besides, how often do you get to photograph your roses and birds all at the same time? :)
I haven’t trimmed the viburnum this spring, since the buntings seem to live in it. I see them flitting in and out of it all day long. In last week’s storm, a long viburnum branch blew down and got caught on some rosebush thorns, creating a very nice perch for a willing bird. As I stood watching the birds and laughing at their antics, I told them that they could pose there for me…and a few minutes later, one did!
I took a little video of the party at the feeder. It’s going to be sad when these birds go back up north. Hopefully they will return next winter.