Indigo Bunting Joins the Feeder Party


Rich looked out at our bunting feeder tonight and found a new customer at our backyard bird feeder – an Indigo Bunting!  He’s the first one we’ve had visit our yard.  Rich stopped and said, “What’s that!?  He’s different!”  I grabbed my camera and Rich grabbed binoculars and we both said, “Indigo Bunting!”  He’s a nice male who is almost finished molting into his bright blue breeding plumage. I wonder if the cold front blew him in.

When we first noticed the Indigo Bunting, he was eating peacefully with a female/juvie Painted Bunting, a.k.a. “greenie.”

Another greenie joined the party, as did a male Painted Bunting.  I was so excited to see the male Indigo and male Painted Buntings together!

There was just one problem.  There weren’t enough ports to go around.  (That pesky camera lady needs to buy a bigger feeder!)  The male Painted flew around to tell one of the greenies to move off a port.  Usually the greenies yield to the male Painted Buntings when it comes to feeder ports.  But today the greenie stood up for herself and told the male to back off!

The male actually did back off!  He flew around to the other side of the feeder to tell the stranger Indigo Bunting to leave.  But the Indigo wasn’t listening to him either.  He nipped at the Painted and kept his spot on the feeder.

The male Painted finally flew off.  Another greenie joined the party.  Then another male flew in and ousted a greenie.  Feeder life is very complicated!

A second male butted his way in and ousted another greenie.  Those poor female Painted Buntings get no respect from their male counterparts!

Something spooked them all.  Only one greenie and the Indigo Bunting were left at the feeder.  Look at the splash of millet that the other birds kicked up as they flew!

Poor little Indigo Bunting.  He seemed hungry.  I guess he had a really long flight before he made it to my yard.  I hope he’ll stick around for a few days to refuel.  Maybe he’ll put in a good word about my yard with his friends, too!

After the Indigo flew off into my hedge, a hummingbird flew out of the hedge and did a quick zoom around the yard!  I love spring!  Now I have my hummer feeders out again.  Hopefully the easy food source will make the approaching cold temperatures easier for these birds, especially the passing migrants.

I couldn’t resist – I had such a good time watching the birds come and go at the feeder, and I wanted to convey the overall feeling of watching the show.  So I pulled out my Photoshop layers and layer masks, and patched together a composite image of the comings and goings.  I hope it makes you smile!

Yep, this one is a Photoshop composite. But it conveys the feeling of the feeder party!