Exciting backyard visitors

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It was extra special last week to see a bright splash of blue in the backyard and to realize it was a male Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea). It’s a new member of our backyard bird list that we’ve kept since replanting the backyard with native plants in 2006. We’re now up to 66 different species.

Blue GrosbeakIt’s also been a treat to watch Northern Flickers (Colaptes auratus). We’ve seen these large woodpeckers before, but this is the first time we’ve had a male and female at the same time. It’s easy to tell them apart since the female doesn’t have the black malar (moustache).

We’re seeing lots of bird activity in the backyard these days, and thoroughly enjoying their early morning chorus. Having unexpected visitors is ‘icing on the cake’.

P.S. I initially thought the first bird was a Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea), but was corrected by several knowledgeable birders. The Grosbeak has a larger, thicker bill, and brown wingbars. See a comparison.

11 thoughts on “Exciting backyard visitors”

  1. WOW! I am so impressed. What a beautiful bird – I have never seen it before. We had a black and white warbler in our yard last week. I have seen them here twice before – so I am certain of the ID. The must travel down the river in the spring.

    1. Glad you saw the black and white warbler. I consider them extra special, but we haven’t seen them this year.

  2. Wow, Betty …… What a wonderful blessing to see these two ‘Beauties’ in your backyard, and to be able to photograph them in lovely surroundings!
    I can see why you were so delighted . Unfortunately, our U.K. Buntings are not so colourful as the Blue Grosbeak , but our Yellowhammer is
    very pretty! And what a fine specimen of the Woodpecker family is your Northern Flicker, i am (almost) envious !!
    Looking forward to more of nature’s delights in your backyard. Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful photos with us, God bless you!

  3. What a beautiful bird Betty. It looks very much like the Indigo Bunting in size and colour.
    It is such a gift to find one in your backyard.

  4. I have seen Evening Grosbeaks in our yard, but never a blue one! What a heavenly color … Haven’t seen a Northern Flicker either–but I was thrilled this spring to host a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and also some Ruby-crowned Kinglets (they apparently stop by to eat the aphids on our Japanese Maple). Thanks, as always, Betty, for sharing your lovely photos and informed observations.

    1. Patsy, it sounds like you, too, have had some interesting visitors. Love the Ruby-crowned Kinglets and especially when I can see their ruby crown.

  5. That’s was a very special tribute to that beautiful bird. I have a flock of quail in the backyard. They’re very mysterious and beautiful

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