Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lazuli Bunting: In the Yard!

Yes, another FOS today; a male Lazuli Bunting! I had them around last year, but it is earlier this year (as far as this novice birder can tell). I found this baby, just as I was leaving for work…

These guys remind me of Dark-eyed Juncos with their dark, smudgy eyes. The bird is quite small, only about five and a half inches long.

The stunning, blue body (though smaller), with white belly and orange breast band remind one of a Western Bluebird. Here in SoCo, we sometimes get all three bluebirds; Mountain Bluebirds (males are intense sky-blue from stem to stern), Eastern Bluebirds, a bit smaller and with a rufus collar and bib above a white belly, which runs down the flanks; and the Western Bluebird (the smallest at only 7” long)…a blue bird with chestnut collar and shoulders; sometimes making the back look reddish. Its belly is also white. But is only the Lazuli Bunting which has two white wing bars; besides it is nearly 25% smaller than the larger thrushes (bluebirds). Also, while a subtle observation, the little bunting seems to sit straighter on a branch, than do the bluebirds.

You can find some of last year's Lazuli Bunting posts and photos here.

More pictures, including larger versions of these thumbnail images, are available at Google images.


Connie Kogler said...

So fun! I've had one the last 3 days too. A first for the yard. He is tinted with brown making me wonder if rather than molt to blue, the brown will wear off to blue?

Beverly said...

Hmmmmmm...I didn't know that even happened! Color wears off; blue color is beneath brown? Who knew?

Yeah, I'm having a blast...and looking forward to Black-headed Grosbeaks, Bollock's Oriols, and the Western Tanagers; all of which brought fledglings to the feeders.

Per your suggestions, I've got grape jelly and orange halves in the feeders! :)

Kelly said...

Wow! What a beauty. I've never seen one. We don't get them here in Cincy. I've get to Get West!!

Beverly said...

Ah well...isn't that the fun of birding on vacation? LOL

Thanks for visiting, Kelly!

Granny Fran said...

Bev, thanks for putting your link on your CoBirds post. I love your photos and how you do your cogitating on the birds on your blog as an way of helping educate all of us.

Beverly said...

Hey Kelly, thanks for visiting here! Odd huh, that the very similar Indigo Bunting does make it that far east.

Hiya Fran, I'm glad you stopped by; I feel I 'know' you from Gary's site. You're right about my "cogitating on the birds"...it's how I learn. I can read and read, but it is writing that helps me remember stuff.

I do hope I haven't miss-led you; most of the photos these days are from Wikipedia (where they're public domain); my camera and I are not usually good enough. [sigh]

dAwN said...

Thats one yard bird that i would love to have...but since I dont have a yard..i will have to just go out west to see them again.
Happy Birding.

Beverly said...

LOL I thought the world was your yard, Dawn! :)