About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Better than a Rainbow: Dark blue bird mixing with the Goldfinches

This was taken Tuesday evening, during the rain.- Lynn
Lots of people have been reporting beautiful blue birds at their feeders. Indigo Buntings will stop in many yards on their journey looking to refuel. During migration they look for open grasslands and leafy trees similar to those in their winter habitat. Migration takes place in April and May and then again in September and October.

They spend their winters in southern Florida, central Mexico and south through the West Indies and Central America to northern South America.

In the spring they can travel thousands of miles to their breeding grounds at the top of Florida to the bottom of Canada and as far east as Maine and as far west as Nevada.

Indigo Bunting, Passerina cyanea, offset repro...Male and female indigo bunting Image via Wikipedia
Indigos like a variety of food, including small seeds, nuts, berries, insects, mosquitoes, flies, aphids, small spiders, buds, goldenrod, thistle, grasses, and herbs. At my feeders they like the Nyger Thistle and the No-Mess blend which has the sunflower chips, peanuts, and millet without the hulls.

In Michigan you could see Indigo buntings all summer if you live in an area that has the proper breeding territory. They nest in brushy and weedy habitats along the edges of farmland, woods, roads, and railways. According to Birds of Michigan by Ted Black, “Raspberry thickets are a favored nesting location for many of our Indigo Buntings. The dense, thorny stems provide the nestlings with protection from many predators, and the berries are a convenient source of food.”

So if you live near a woodlot or bike trails you may see the birds year round. Otherwise appreciate these beautiful birds while they visit in the spring and fall.

Related Articles:

- Do We Have Indigo Buntings in Michigan? http://t.co/tUlMhMW
- Gardening for birds http://bit.ly/K5IG0T
- Blue Jays aren't blue http://bit.ly/zlNPHx
- How birds and bees see UV light http://bit.ly/wLilkP 
- Types of Bird feathers http://bit.ly/J8aZMh

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