Saturday, June 1, 2013

Indigo Bunting

The male Indigo Buntings are putting on a show for you right now…don’t miss it! 

‘Blue’ doesn’t get any bluer than this. He’s singing his heart out for you and the show is free.

It’s hard to tell when a male Indigo Bunting is singing to impress a female or demanding you get out of his territory. 

While passing through, he came out of the bush to check me out.  His message isn’t always clear though. By singing a pretty song is he welcoming me or not…no, I think not.  

His song entertains, but he’s more likely screaming at me...‘Go away, get out of here, scram.'  It's a mixed message.
Migrating at night with the stars for guidance, they arrived in Wisconsin a few weeks ago.  They won’t travel much further north of here either.  After wintering in Central America they spread out over most of the US with the exception of the Northwest quarter.  They even make a home in arid Arizona. 

Indigo Buntings need brushy, weedy habitats to find the insects they prefer. Seeds, berries and grains also satisfy them…they’re not picky eaters.  Look for them along fencerows, railroad tracks, streams and power line cuts.

Pause briefly to enjoy him. Don’t make him scream at you for long though.  You could be taking him away from nest protection duty or food gathering.  Indigo Buntings are not endangered, rather common and widespread, but let’s keep it that way.  This is a beautiful bird everyone should get to see in the wild.