Indigo Bunting: Missouri’s “Other” Bluebird

August 13, 2014

After I finished photographing river otters along the Meramec River in Crawford County a few weeks ago, I ran across this richly-colored indigo bunting as it was breakfasting on grass seeds (700 mm; 1/100; f/5.6; ISO 400; Av). It was alongside a gravel road and it stayed fast on its perch when a car roared by only a few feet away. I was already putting away my gear when I decided to pull everything back out and try for an image of the intrepid, male bunting. As I began my approach, the plucky little bird kept an eye on me but continued to feed. I was able to get some nice close-ups but I liked this open shot as this week’s feature image because it showed more of the bird’s surroundings.

The second image is a tighter shot of the same bird. You knew I couldn’t resist sharing a close-up! You can see some of the seeds still stuck on the bill of the messy little eater.

DJB_BSP_2014_1052Indigo Bunting; 700 mm; 1/100; f/5.6; ISO 400; Av

The next image is of a female indigo bunting. The female looks like a sparrow at first glance so I always watch for the metallic, bi-colored bill when I’m trying to make an identification. Better yet, I watch for a male indigo bunting in the vicinity or listen for the call when I see the nondescript female. By the way, this image is a good example of the capability of a 300 mm lens to capture a nice bird image when conditions are right.

DJB_05-26-08-0001Female Indigo Bunting; 300 mm; 1/125; f/5.0; ISO 200; Av

The final image is blue grosbeak, another bird of vivid blue. All you have to do is look at its massive beak to distinguish one from the much smaller indigo bunting. Of course, I always watch for the rusty wing bars on the blue grosbeak, as well. This image was captured at Shaw Nature Reserve.

IMG_3286Blue Grosbeak; 700 mm; 1/800; f/5.6; ISO 400; Av

Have a great week and keep an eye out for those azure aviators!

Thanks for looking,

Danny Brown

Email me at:  NatureFrames@Rocketmail.Com




4 comments on “Indigo Bunting: Missouri’s “Other” Bluebird”

  1. Thank you for featuring the indigo bunting this week and the identification tips on these little guys. I always enjoy seeing them and hearing them sing as I am out walking. They have such a happy song. Very soothing indeed!

  2. Beautiful shot, of that Indigo Bunting. I never know that there were two different types of Blue Birds in MO. I would like to be able to attract them to my back yard, if I only knew how. They are so brilliant in color. Thank for sharing. I hope that you have a Good weekend.


    • They might like it a little more open than your backyard, Art. Thanks for reading, as usual.

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