An Indigo Bunting for Mother’s Day
According to All About Birds, the website of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Indigo Buntings are common. That has not been our experience, however.
Maybe three years ago Judy and I saw an indigo bunting foraging for seeds in the back garden. These are small birds, about the size of a sparrow or goldfinch, but what they lack in size they make up for with the most amazing electric blue color.
Judy grabbed her camera and got a single shot that was so fuzzy the bunting could have been a tiny blue Sasquatch. It was a tantalizingly brief visit, and ever since then we have been yearning for the Indigo Bunting to return.
To attract Indigo Buntings, let your flowers sow their seeds all around the lawn. Hedges and brushy or weedy areas are a plus, but neat weedless lawns are a turnoff. I’ve been spreading white millet on the ground, and you can also tempt them with thistle and nyjer seed (not surprising, since they are just small finches with a terrific sense of fashion).
If you have other birds ground feeding in your garden you are more likely to attract Indigo Buntings, who will want to get in on the grub.
Anyhow, on Mother’s Day an Indigo Bunting appeared in the back garden. He made himself at home and stayed for the whole day, allowing Judy to get a decent number of pictures. Their color is so outlandish and unusual I can’t help but think they are completely out of place in a Midwestern suburban garden.
I hope this one Indigo Bunting brings his friends and that they all stay a good while. But if we never see him again, he did make an outstanding Mother’s Day present.
Indigo Buntings are vigorous singers – here’s a link to some recordings.
Have you ever had Indigo Buntings visit your garden?