Monday, May 5, 2008
In one of the parks where I walk there's a meadow where the Indigo Buntings always appear in April and May. I generally don't have much luck seeing them there later in the summer, so I'm guessing it's more a place to cruise for dates than a nesting ground. In any case, they're all over that meadow just now, and since I'm usually visiting early in the day, I get to see the the males' plumage in its full glory, as it flashes deep turquoise in the morning sun. The boys also have a pretty, high-pitched song that's very distinctive, which is helpful to sighting them, since they're small. I always hear them before I see them. The Cornell site says Indigo Buntings are declining in the Southeast, which seems true to me. I think I saw them more often ten years ago than I do now. They're a popular cage bird in Mexico, which sort of horrifies me. Since I've only seen them wild, I can't imagine imprisoning such a bright, beautiful thing.
Read about the Indigo Bunting at Animal Diversity Web and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Indigo Bunting photo courtesy of the Kingsville, Texas Chamber of Commerce website.