The painted bunting. What can I say? Certainly, one of the most beautiful birds on the planet and one that we in Mississippi are very lucky to count as one of our spring nesters. They always arrive a couple of weeks behind the Indigo Buntings and can usually be identified on my morning walks when a red streak appears alongside a bunch of blue streaks as the buntings arise from the grass along the trail and seek protection in the adjacent trees.
I first sighted this one 2 days ago, on the 9th of May. That day I decided to leave the camera and enjoy a morning walk without encumbrances. I knew I would see something special! When I returned with the camera this morning, there he was in the same location as if he had been waiting the whole time. Sightings like this make all of the years of work building and maintaining the wetland worthwhile.
And last but not least…… Here the female calls for her partner. It is interesting to compare her colors to those of a female Summer Tanager. Right now, it seems that we have at least half a dozen pairs hanging around the wetlands preparing to nest. They are a blast to watch.
This is probably the best picture of the bunch. The autofocus on the Canon really did the job here.