There’s nothing better than a sunshiny Saturday morning with a crisp newspaper, a bowl of cereal and a backyard full of birds chowing down with you.

Spring is alive in my backyard with sparrows and chickadees and blue jays and doves. They trill and sing and flit and call. It’s wonderful.

So to see the story of a bird once thought extinct, I nearly leapt for joy. It really did give me a rush to see that scientists had sighted an ivory-billed woodpecker, a bird not seen in 60 years. There’s something comforting about the resiliency of nature.

Here in Ashvegas, we must be perfectly situated on a couple of migration routes or something, because I’ve seen an astonishing variety of birds in my backyard. The downy and red-headed woodpeckers have made appearances. There’s a flicker that lives down the street, and a blue bird has taken up housing in my neighbor’s backyard.

There is the regular contingent of crows and starlings. The nuthatches and tufted titmice and cardinals are regular guests. Robins, of course, and those bitchy mocking birds. I once had so much activity that I saw a young hawk zoom through on the hunt for the smaller birds.

But I’d never spotted an indigo bunting until this past weekend. At first, me and my boo that it was a blue bird. But after a few seconds of inspection, it was clear this was something different. There was no rust-colored chest, and the bird was tiny compared to a blue bird.

We did a quick i.d. check, and confirmed that the little guy was indeed an indigo bunting who had most likely traveled some 1,000 miles up from Central America from his winter hangout here to Ashvegas.

These beauties are captured, caged and sold for song birds in Europe. If you want to hear their song, check out this cool site. What a treat on a sunshiny Saturday morning.

One Comment

  1. kitkatmews says:

    I long to see an indigo bunting (and a painted bunting, for that matter). Nice photos!

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