Mark Renz Photography

Last Hurrah for our seasonal indigo buntings

Words and photos by Mark Renz (Background info from Cornell Lab of Ornithology "All about birds")

(April 15, 2013 - Alva, FL) Today I visited a beautiful bougainvillea bush in front of a house
owned by Leon and Lois White. I had been coming here for a few months to visit some of the most beautiful birds
in North America -- a bird I admit I knew very little about until now.

But today, none of the male buntings came out to greet me and only 1 or 2 of the females. They appeared to be young,
possibly remaining behind to eat a bit more and gain strength for their journey northward any day. Three or four
male indigo buntings were still here, but most of the males as well as their female counterparts had already packed and gone. The birds you see below and in "Last Hurrah! 2 & 3" were photographed over the past week.

Leon and Lois were also packing for their own journey north, back to their summer home in Michigan. The birds will
miss them and I will miss them as they head out this coming Saturday. What great friends for the birds and
the community.

I can hardly wait for next year.

Bunting banterings:

These gorgeous little birds that resemble a flicker of the bluest blue sky, migrate at night, guided by the stars. Is that cool or what? Now, if astrophysicists are wrong, forget what else I'm about to add. But if they are right, here is another scenario worth pondering: The very atoms that make up every part of us, including the air we breathe, have been around since about 300 million years after the Big Bang. That means that atoms have been "migrating" and altering their "charge" for billions of years and that some of the same atoms from long burned-out stars are in the very buntings that then rely on those stars for navigational lights. And you thought they were just another pretty bird...

Bougainvillia Bunting hide-away - Alva, FL

Male indigo bunting - Alva, FL

Two male indigo buntings - Alva, FL

Female indigo bunting - Alva, FL

Male inigo bunting - Alva, FL

Female (foreground) and male inigo bunting - Alva, FL