Birder's Eye View

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Year bird and Life bird

Saw a Ring-billed Gull yesterday, in the parking lot of a shopping center. Not exactly my favorite place to find year birds, but hey, it happens.

My second find for the day was much more impressive and challenging. I happened to glance out my window, and caught a glimpse of a very strange looking bird.

It was all brown with blue wings and a blue tail. I snapped soome pictures and watched it through my binoculars until it flew away. I had never seen anything like it before. Flipping through my field guide, I consulted every page that featured a blue and brown passerine; the closest thing I could come up with was an Indigo Bunting, but I didn't trust my judgement.

I checked online, asked my mom, continued to search through my field guide, and inquired on an online listserv.

Long story short, the bird turned out to be a juvenile male Indigo Bunting. I was ecstatic! I had never even considered looking for an Indigo Bunting before, but to see one in my own backyard was incredible.

The main thing I learned from yesterday's experience was to trust my own birding skills a little more. I am very grateful for the kind and patient birders online though, who helped confirm my identification. :-)

So, that brings my year list up to 34!

Happy birding!


  • Lol, once again, we weren't tied for long.

    I love Indigo Buntings. Especially the adult males. They're sooo beautiful.
    I have a pic of one here:

    I have a better one somewhere.....
    Anyway, yea, they're great birds. nice to see you found one.

    Now I have a challenge for you, both Blue Grosbeaks and Painted Buntings live in FL. Both can be found more easily this time of year. My challenge is to find one!
    And then (if possible) get a picture so you can prove they can be found in FL. :D lol they always escape me when I'm down there.


    By Blogger Parus, At January 10, 2008 at 12:14 PM  

  • No worries -- you'll be hundreds of birds ahead of me before long. ;-)

    Very nice Indigo Bunting picture! I'd love to see one in its adult plumage. I'm sure they'd be much easier to ID that way.

    Blue Grosbeaks and Painted Buntings in my area -- so I've heard! I actually saw several male Painted Buntings a long time ago, on the other side of the state. It was probably over 10 years ago. I'll keep my eyes out, though (and my camera handy!)

    Happy birding!


    By Blogger Earthbird, At January 10, 2008 at 4:53 PM  

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