Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Painted Buntings --the most beautiful birds in North America

We judge the seasons as much by our neighbors as the fickle Hill Country weather.  

It must be summer...the painted buntings have returned to our neighborhood. 

They started arriving in May, flying in from Mexico and Central America.  A long journey for a little finch.

A few stay here to raise families.  More spread out through Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and parts of Kansas and Mississippi.

Yes, the male is the show-off in the family. 

The female's yellowy-green is a better camouflage for nest-sitting.  The young ones will look like her the first year.  Then the boys will turn red yellow blue and green and we'll rush to the windows when they fly in.

You can say it's not fair.  But you'd do the same thing.

I know you would.

Denny loves them too, here's his take on buntings and life.

Copyright 2009-2012 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.


  1. As beautiful to birds, as your BBQ is to fine culinary art! First painted bunting I saw at a bird refuge near Christoval was simply amazing.

  2. I wish they'd come up here to Wimberley Valley. We'd love to see them.
    They are really pretty.

  3. It is hard to disagree with your assessment. They are gorgeous!

  4. I have a little female at the nursery- she is very vocal. Last year I saw the male- have not seen him yet this year. Great photos.

  5. If I didn't know better, I'd say those were fake!

  6. I've never seen one before. Marvelous colors.


  7. They are the prettiest birds in North America. We have nothing that compared in the middle-north. Maybe a bluebird or hummingbird. If I had these in my yard, I'd never want to come inside. Thanks for sharing the magic with us.

    ps I see that using the word verification does not stop the bike store in london from spamming you, so I guess I can forget that option. I reported them to google, but don't hold much hope for being left alone by them. Sorry they found you too.

  8. Hi Kathleen,
    Lovely birds and fantastic pictures.
    Best regards,

  9. Oh my - those birds are real show stoppers all right. I don't think I'd get much done if I had any of these brilliant flyers in our yard but I've never seen any here in the Rollingwood area.

    Thank you so much for sharing yours!


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