Backyard Bunting Trifecta!

What an incredible Spring Migration it has been here on the farm. Looking out my home-office window, in an area roughly 12-15 yards square, I have observed as many as 35 Indigo Buntings, four Lazuli Buntings and a female Painted Buntings simultaneously - all consuming mass quantities of millet seed!

It all began with the arrival of a regular flock of a dozen or so Indigo Buntings. This in itself is unusual, because we usually have a few pairs that call the farm home, but NEVER this many!

This was followed by the arrival of the first Lazuli Bunting on 13 May, to be followed by others over the next few days until a total of five - two pairs and a transitioning male - had arrived. This is incredible... these birds "normally" regularly occur as far east as the Colorado Rockies, and yet I had FIVE in my yard in south-central Kansas! Is God Good or what?!?!?!?! The last Lazuli, the paler male, was observed on Friday, 22 May.

Then the trifecta occured on 15 May with the arrival of a female Painted Bunting, which remained until 24 May. So from 15 May thru 22 May, I had ALL THREE probable buntings out my office window. And as if that was not enough, a male probable hybrid of an Indigo x Lazuli Bunting arrived on 20 May, and remained thru 23 May.

The maximum number of male Indigo Buntings observed together is 21, observed the evening of 26 May, 2009.

So, below I have posted a few photos to confirm my observations. Most were photographed thru a window screen, as explained under the Painted Bunting entry.


Bob Broyles 26 May, 2009

Lazuli Buntings - Butler County Records!!!!

Two Male Lazuli Buntings amongst the Indigo Buntings

Two Male Lazuli Buntings

Male and Female Lazuli Buntings

Male and Female Lazuli Buntings and apparent hybrid Indigo x Lazuli Bunting with prominant white wing bar. Photos taken thru a window screen for the protection of the birds.

Apparent Hybrid Male Indigo X Lazuli Bunting

In the center of the frame you can see an "Indigo" Bunting with prominant white wing bars, which is probably a hybrid between an Indigo Bunting and Lazuli Bunting. Note also the female Lazuli Bunting to the right and in the foreground and the male Lazuli Bunting at the left border. Photographed thru a window screen. (see under female Painted Bunting)
Another photo of the apparent hybrid and the female Lazuli Bunting

Female Painted Bunting - Photographed Thru Window Screen

This female Painted Bunting arrived just after the Lazuli Buntings, and in spite of my scouring every tree and shrub in the area, no male was located. She was last seen Sunday, May 24th. The poor quality of this image is due to shooting thru the window screen. I had removed the screen for photographic purposes, but the Buntings were hitting the glass, and I did not want to improve the quality of the images at the expense of the birds, so I replaced the window screen.

15 Adult Male Indigo Buntings!

What an incredible Spring! Here you can see 15 adult male Indigo Buntings feeding on millet. Last evening there were 19, and I just looked out (Tuesday evening 8:15 PM May 26th, 2009) and counted a record 21 Male Indigo Buntings! God has truely blessed us!

There are five of them in the River Birch tree in the top photo, and four of them in a vertical row to the right of the female Cardinal in the bottom photo.