Monday, June 15, 2009

Bird Nerd

My friend Cathy called me a Bird Nerd when I got all a-twitter about a rare bird sighting.

We have a motion-sensitive camera trained on one of our bird feeders.

One day, I was downloading the pictures from the camera and came upon this:

I was speechless. I didn't think any such bird existed except in the jungles. I emailed the photo to my Bird Nerd Husband and he identified it as a Painted Bunting. Apparently, these birds come to Texas and other southern states to breed. They are mostly monogamous. After breeding, they head south to Mexico where their breed is threatened as they are captured and sold to Europeans as cage birds. There are only a few confirmed sightings of this wonderful bird in Texas each year.

We now see him and his mate nearly every day. She is a pretty yellow-green color. The feeder is near a window and if anybody spots the Bunting, we all run to the window to watch this beautiful bird.

We also have had a lot of problems with squirrels. A couple of acrobatic squirrels can empty the feeder in less than a day. Through craftiness and weaponry, we've pretty much encouraged the squirrels to find their food elsewhere.

A variety of birds visit the feeder and are photographed every day. The photographs help us identify individuals. We get lots of cardinals, chickadees, sparrows, and wrens. And the birdcam has gotten some great shots! Check 'em out!


Granny Sue said...

I would think my eyes were deceiving me if I ever saw a bird like that! How beautiful and tropical. I love your photos. The birds look so inquisitive.

Anonymous said...

Very cool Pam!

dan belzer said...

shut up!! i didn't know you were a Bird Nerd! so am i -- not enough time to nerd it, though, unfortunately. have been watching a bit more the past few days with a lighter schedule. occasionally when i'm running i have to stop when i see/hear birds that are not as common. Word.

Pam said...

Pam, my daughter directed to your site, which is very nice. The Painted Bunting is on the front cover of the National Geographic Field Guide of North American Birds. It is the most popular guide (or was)until David Sibley authored one which is really too big to use in the field. Here in Central Texas, the Painted Bunting is considered common here. I have run two Breeding Bird Surveys for over 10 years and the bird is alive and well here. BBS for summer of 2009 we counted 30 Painted Buntings. So you are one of the lucky ones to have the right habitat for them that they would come to your feeder. They are hard to spot and we listen for their song first, especially the female. Good Birding!