Backyard photographyBirds

Painted Buntings!!

Now with all my recent posts from the backyard, you might have guessed that I’ve been trying to get good images of my Painted Buntings.  You might be right. ;-)

Powderpuff branches make for gorgeous photos when the powderpuff blooms are fresh.  I positioned this branch next to the bunting feeder, just in front of the blooming powderpuff bush.  The buntings mostly ignored it.  They would fly from my bird blind directly to the feeder and start chowing down.  Except for this one intrepid greenie, who would occasionally hop down to the perch instead of returning to the cover of the other bushes.  This one image totally made my morning!

Painted Bunting "Greenie"
Painted Bunting “Greenie”

Where were the males, you ask?  Well, the Painted Bunting males definitely let the greenies do the scouting for food.  The greenies are always the first to venture out to the feeder, check out the surroundings, and then, if it’s safe, the males come out.   So the male was hanging out in the coral honeysuckle on my bird blind.

Male Painted Bunting
Male Painted Bunting

After observing the buntings on Coral Porterweed and salvia plants, I knew those would be comfortable and familiar perches for the birds.  So I placed a Coral Porterweed bloom near the feeder.  The greenies decided that it wasn’t a bad place to hop on their way to the feeder.  Then a single male decided to do the same!

Painted Bunting "Greenie"
Painted Bunting “Greenie”
Male Painted Bunting
Male Painted Bunting

I liked the powderpuff perch so much that I tried again the next morning.  All night I had visions of a male Painted Bunting landing on the pretty red flowers.  Alas, the greenies were the only takers.

Painted Bunting Greenie on Powderpuff
Painted Bunting Greenie on Powderpuff

Then I remembered how the buntings have always loved my Purple Firespike bush. So I found a pretty flower and placed it near the feeder one afternoon.  Afternoon shooting is so much easier, since I can do it from the comfort of my blind.   The birds don’t even see that I’m there.  Again, it was the greenie who ventured out to pose…so beautiful!!  The greenies really are pretty birds, especially when the sun makes their feathers shine.

Painted Bunting Greenie on Purple Firespike
Painted Bunting Greenie on Purple Firespike

Silly male buntings.  They continued to sit in the shelter of the bushes while the greenies had their photographs taken.

Male Painted Bunting
Male Painted Bunting

I had to laugh at this one.  The feeder was full (three males and a greenie) and this little greenie wanted some millet.  He flew to my perch to wait his turn.  Then he started fussing at the birds who wouldn’t let him him.  So funny!

Greenie Protesting
Greenie Protesting

When I put out a red bottlebrush branch for the doves to land on, I didn’t expect the Painted Buntings to use it.  But apparently this greenie didn’t mind all the perches in my yard. :)

Painted Bunting "Greenie"
Painted Bunting “Greenie”

The light had faded by the time the bird ventured onto this perch.  We had a series of windy, cloudy days that were perfect for hanging out in my backyard paradise.  By this point, it was breezy enough that I was surprised the bird came anywhere near the perch, or the feeder!

Greenie Painted Bunting on Powderpuff
Greenie Painted Bunting on Powderpuff

So did I ever get that shot of a male?  Well, see for yourself…

Painted Bunting (Male)
Painted Bunting (Male)

It has been such fun spending time with these beautiful birds.  They are leaving my yard now, and already I can’t wait for October when they start to come back!!

3 thoughts on “Painted Buntings!!

  1. Thanks Michael and Debbie! Next year we’re going to start Perch Training earlier in the year, so that when the fun really starts in late spring, we can have a photography party. Rich promises to take lots of silly pictures of the backyard paparazzi!

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