“They” say that there are no blue feathers. That is, there are no feathers that contain blue pigment. When our brains tell us that we have seen a blue bird, it is the result of physics and a trick of the light… reflection? refraction? I dunno… very complicated.
Whatever the science, it is always thrilling to see an Indigo Bunting! My Sibley’s field guide tells me that Indigo Buntings are “common in any open brushy area, including weedy fields and hedge-rows, with trees nearby.” The Cornell All-About-Birds website further explains that the Indigo Bunting is “a bird of old fields and roadsides” and that it “prefers abandoned land to urban areas, intensely farmed areas, or deep forests.”
Both descriptions fit the CLDC bird banding site quite well and we saw what must be a family of buntings on Saturday.
I love how the Cornell website lists “Cool Facts” for each species. Here are the two that intrigued me the most about Indigo Buntings:
The Indigo Bunting migrates at night, using the stars for guidance. It learns its orientation to the night sky from its experience as a young bird observing the stars.
Experienced adult Indigo Buntings can return to their previous breeding sites when held captive during the winter and released far from their normal wintering area.