#GardenInspiration – Painted Bunting

It’s an absolutely picture perfect day here in central Florida today. Cool enough breeze to keep you from melting, but warm enough for shorts and t-shirts. And as if the weather isn’t enough reason to spend some time outside, this morning, a stunning male painted bunting visited our birdbath. He splashed and frolicked long enough for me to really enjoy his vivid orange, blue, and chartreuse coloring. I’m hoping he’ll be back later for a snack at the feeder, but when he finished his ablutions, he flew up into the bamboo, and became invisible.

You wouldn’t think a brightly colored bird like this, or our year round resident cardinals could vanish among solid green foliage, but they do. You can stand beneath, listening to the scarlet cardinals singing, and not see them to save your soul. Mother Nature is always interesting, and usually inspiring. Today, I was reminded of that once again.

Writers, when your muse has deserted you, go outside. Take a walk around your neighborhood, or a hike in the closest wooded area. Go for a canoe ride. Take an eco-tour. Or just sit on your patio with aĀ  cup of tea, and see what flies or scampers by. You might be surprised. Even in a busy suburban area, with nearby shopping malls, and an interstate highway, I regularly see things like today’s painted bunting. And when I return to work, it’s with renewed energy and inspiration.

 

19 thoughts on “#GardenInspiration – Painted Bunting

  1. Awesome! What lovely, charming birdies! You are fortunate to see and now also hear them on a regular basis.
    Thanks for sharing the pictures with us! Have a lovely weekend!

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    • They are very charming and very beautiful, and you’re right that I’m lucky to see them now and then, and hear them, as well. They are infrequent yard visitors, though they are winter residents, and pass through on spring and fall migration in larger numbers. This one is probably getting ready to head farther north for breeding season. I looked for the female, who is a solid yellowy-green color, and beautiful in her own right. Didn’t spot one, though. But I can’t ask for more than for a day to start with a visitor this beautiful. šŸ™‚

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    • So glad you enjoyed it, and no, I haven’t been doing very much blog visiting, due to trying to get my newest book out. (It’s 3-1/2 months late! Eeep.) But if you’ll send me the link, I’ll be happy to share it here, plus tweet it directly from your post. šŸ™‚

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    • Haha. In addition to the colorful fabric draped around bandstands and the like , bunting is also the name for several interesting birds. We have indigo buntings in our yard more often than the painted variety, and they are just as beautiful, even if only the one color. It’s a pretty spectacular blue, so always a treat to spot one. And now, when you hear the word, you’ll wonder which is being discussed. šŸ˜€ Glad you enjoyed seeing what they look like. And I hope you are duly inspired, now. šŸ˜€

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    • Florida is a great spot for birdwatching. We have migrants from far north of us, to far south of us, and plenty of year-round residents in every category, from garden songbirds to wonderful tropical species. I am lucky in that regard. Of course, like many people, I long for someplace else, to wit, the cool green of the North Carolina mountains, which is where I’d really like to live. But until I figure out a way to make that happen, I can find lots of interesting places and critters to keep me satisfied. Birdwatch where you’re planted, I always say. (Okay, this is the first time I’ve ever said that, but it works. Sort of.) šŸ˜€ Glad you enjoyed seeing today’s visitor. šŸ™‚

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  2. We bird-watch in our garden mostly, Marcia. We have all the finches, the tits, the Jay, the ubiquitous bossy robin, the doves the blackbirds and the thrushes. I think the Jay is about our most colourful of all. But nothing like your Painted Bunting – although we do have a less exotic Bunting. Jx

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    • I’ve seen photos of some of your birds. Your robin (totally unrelated to ours) is a sweet looking little guy, and I love blue tits. I’d really enjoy seeing them in real life someday.

      The painted bunting is a breath-taking bird, and far more brilliant and gaudily marked than most of our songbirds, though we do have some beauties. But I spot painted buntings rarely enough that it was a big deal to me to see him outside this morning. He was probably in mid-migration northward, and only stopped by for a shower and a drink. šŸ™‚ Wish he’d have come to the feeder, which is closer to the house than the birdbath he was using. (I have 5 or 6 of those, because with our hot summers, backyard birds really have to have access to lots of water.)

      Birds are always fun to watch, aren’t they? I’ve got my hummingbird feeder up again, and hopefully our hummers will be making an appearance soon. They like my coral honeysuckle, and several other flowers in my garden, but the feeder pulls them in really close. They are adorable! But feisty, too. šŸ™‚

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      • Ah humming birds. I’ve seen them on nature programmes with their long beaks but nothing like them here of course. We spend many mornings watching them coming in to feed on the peanuts and seeds. We did, for a long time, have green-finches. But a couple of years ago the was some disease that killed most of them off in the UK. Sad. What we love is to see the birds having baths in the bird baths. such a flap and splash – especially the male blackbird. We have an acre of garden, David,, husband, ,has made bird boxes all around in the hedges and trees. We love watching the babies eventually coming out to be fed.Hoping to see them in a couple of months – there’s a lot of noise all around, so hoping ther is much courting. šŸ™‚

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        • Hummingbirds are a wonderful treat to see. They are so tiny, Mark calls them hummingbugs. But their aerial acrobatics are astounding. They are here in our area from February through the end of summer, usually, then they head to South America. In the western states, there are several varieties, all gorgeous jewels. Here in the east, we just have the ruby-throated, also a gorgeous jewel.

          Watching the birds go through their yearly breeding and raising of babies is always fun. Our cardinals and mockingbirds raise multiple clutches each year, sometimes nesting as many as three times, from spring through late fall. So we often have the sub-adults hanging around the feeders for months. šŸ™‚

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  3. What a beautiful bird! We don’t have anything that colourful visit our garden.
    Unsurprisingly, when I answered a question in my latest author interview (coming next month), I gave pretty much the same advice as you – when in need of inspiration, head out into nature; it never fails me.
    Funny, that, eh?

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    • I’m not at all surprised that you understand how inspirational nature is, Debby. And your love of horses just adds to that. It’s amazing how a bit of wildlife, or a quiet stream, or the warmth of our favorite animals nearby helps us relax, and opens us to creativity. Water, especially, has a restorative effect, I think, but all of the above work miracles. šŸ™‚

      Buntings are lovely, brilliantly colored birds, but I’ve seen some beauties in your part of the world, too. Maybe a bit more subtly garbed, but still, charming. Blue tits, for instance. They are so sweet looking, and I think they’re very pretty.

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  4. Beautiful little songbirds, but highly aggressive. During their territorial battles, the males often injure or occasionally kill one another! Hard to believe of the buntings, but true…

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    • Many birds are very aggressive during mating, so I have no trouble believing it. Hummingbirds are among the worst. Their aerial battles can injure or kill the other male, too. Nature isn’t always as gentle and kind as we like to believe. It’s survival of the fittest out there. šŸ™‚ But seeing my buntings always makes me happy. Such a splash of color! And Yesterday, I spotted my first migrating goldfinches. They are heading north to breed, and they’ll spend a few weeks in my garden, fattening up for the journey. By the time they leave, their winter plumage will be almost fully changed to their brilliant black and yellow colors. They are so much fun to watch, very sociable. At least at this pre-breeding stage. I need to get a thistle sock for them.

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