Indigo Bunting – 7/5/09

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/5/09

Observation Time: 1:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm, Trustees of Reservations

Common Name: Indigo Bunting

Scientific Name: Passerina cyanea

Comments: Indigo Buntings are actually black; the diffraction of light through their feathers makes them look blue. This explains why males can appear as various hues from turquoise to black.

They are more common now than when the pilgrims first landed. This is due to an increase in their favorite habitat of woodland edges, such as power line clearings and along roads.

They migrate at night, using the pattern of stars nearest the North Star to guide them. In captivity, these birds will become disoriented if they can’t see the stars in April/May and September/October.

A group of buntings are collectively known as a “decoration”, a “mural”, or a “sacrifice” of buntings.

More Information: All About Birds

Indigo Bunting