Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Indigo Bunting

All puffed up and of no mind to endure trespassers, this Indigo Bunting stood his ground along the Ozaukee Interurban Trail in Mequon. It was an hour after sunrise on the 4th of July and he was guarding his small patch of woody, swampy land called home.

The peace and pace of the early morning was about to change though. I doubt he understood how or when.

Fireworks were in his future.

Try to imagine the stresses a bird feels shortly after retiring for the night when fireworks start exploding.

The sun goes down... fireworks go up?

The fireworks came later.

For now, he faces a more immediate challenge. Looking southward down the bike trail he sees bicycles heading his way.

The holiday brings bike traffic ten times its normal rate passing through his home territory.

His stress level is rising.

To my knowledge an Indigo Bunting has been at this corner of the bike trail since at least 2012. I can't say this beautiful bunting is that same bird, but it could be. The oldest recorded Indigo Bunting was 13 years and 3 months old when banded and recaptured in Ohio.

The Fourth of July is a stressful time for many animals. Many household pets try to hide from fireworks noise.

But where does a bird go to get away?

He can turn his indigo back to the problem, maybe, but that is about all he can do.


Credits: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds