Mystery Bunting?

Check out these two shots that txbird got this afternoon around 3:30:

I’m leaning toward “bunting” on these, based on the general shape and pattern, as well as the fact that it’s perched on the same plant we’ve seen buntings feeding on a bunch over the last month or so. Especially in that second shot, I’m getting a subtle sense of some blue coloration — could it maybe be an immature male Indigo Bunting? We had a single beautiful shot of an adult male Indigo Bunting way back near the start of CONE Welder, on May 3, and then five more shots of a male on June 24. The range maps in Sibley, and the Welder checklist, both seem to suggest that it’s more of a spring and fall migrant than a summer resident, but I can’t think what else that bird might be.

I’m curious what others think.

2 Responses to “Mystery Bunting?”

  1. loughman1 says:

    I think it’s more likely a juvenile or female Painted Bunting. The bird was photographed at 3:33 pm. A male PABU was seen very near by only 15 minutes earlier, and then again at 3:40, just 7 minutes later. Also at 3:40, and in the same place, I photographed another bird which – as I saw it “live” seemed have some smudgey green on the back – unfortunately not captured in the photo. I took another photo in the same location at 4:00 which I believe is the same female/juvenile PABU, and which looks a lot like txbird’s second picture.

  2. elanus says:

    Yeah, upon reflection, I think I’m making too much of the alleged “blue” on that bird. Depending on how I squint, I can convince myself that there’s lots of blue there, or no blue at all. I’d noticed those male Painted Buntings around the same time, too, when browsing through the gallery.

    So I think I agree with you: most likely a juvenile or female Painted Bunting. Thanks!

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