Indigo Bunting makes a surprise visit

I couldn’t place the unusual bird call as I worked in the high tunnel. I was busy planting eggplant and peppers, and distracted by a hen and her five fluff ball chicks. I forgot about the call.

Later, a flash of blue caught my eye. An Indigo Bunting. I’ve been envious of friends who have had them at their feeders and didn’t expect to see one here. This is a nice surprise after a dull winter of birding.

Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting

Indigo Buntings are small, about the size of a sparrow at 5.5″ long. I’m hoping he stays here with a mate for the summer. If there’s a female I haven’t seen her at the feeder. We have pasture and overgrown fields surrounded by plenty of forest, their preferred habitat.They summer as far east as New Brunswick so I’m close to the edge of their normal territory so I’m not getting my hopes up. They eat pests and weed seeds, something my garden has plenty of.

According to Audubon Society the Indigo Bunting is not blue. They say this on their website. “Indigo Buntings have no blue pigment; they are actually black, but the diffraction of light through the structure of the feathers makes them appear blue.”  Interesting. I’d love to see him in brighter light than today’s overcast, rainy day has to offer.

Friends in other parts of Maine are talking about the Baltimore Orioles so that’s what I’m hoping for next.

Robin Follette

About Robin Follette

Maine Press Association award winner, 2013. Robin's Outdoors, Bangor Daily News, third place in Sports blogs. I grew up with a fishing pole in my hand and have always loved the outdoors. From gardening to hunting and fishing, kayaking, camping, hiking and foraging, most of my time is spent outdoors. I teach outdoor skills as a volunteer instructor for Hooked On Fishing - Not On Drugs and Becoming an Outdoors-Woman. Pro-staff at The Limb Grip. My personal blog is here. I'm currently working on my first book, a collection of short stories based on my outdoors experiences.