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May 11, 2015

The Indigo Bunting - as blue as blue can be

Photo by BarrytheBirder
Indigo Bunting
Passerina cyanea
The first warbler of the spring arrived on Saturday just after lunch and it's always special because of this particular bird's beautiful colour.   The Indigo Bunting stands alone among the warblers because of its striking overall blue colour.   The only other warblers that come close are the Black-throated Blue Warbler and the Cerulean Warbler, which are partly blue and pretty, but not striking like the Indigo Bunting.   The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds (Eastern Region) was the first all photographic field guide when it was published in 1977 and here's what it said, in part, about the Indigo Bunting.   "Indigo Buntings have no blue pigment: they are actually black, but the diffraction of light through the structure of the feathers makes them appear blue".   This bird is surely a handsome ambassador for spring.
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