One of our “greenie” backyard Painted Buntings got his name today: Pinocchio! Juvenile male and female Painted Buntings look alike until their first spring, when the males molt into the beautiful red, blue, and green tones that make bird photographers go “oooh!” Pinocchio’s transformation has started – you can see tiny bits of blue starting to show around his face, and a general bluish cast to his wings. Hopefully he’ll come back next winter to show off his colors!
We’ve had an increase of activity at our bunting feeder. In the fall we saw at most one male at a time, and now we regularly see three, maybe even four. Even after two winters of playing host to these beautiful birds, I still can’t believe they are in my own backyard. (And if you are wondering about the cage in the picture below, they like it – it protects them from the bigger birds who like to eat their millet seed.)