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

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