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Indigo Bunting Nest, Part Two

Thursday, September 27, 2012

It's Day 3 at the indigo bunting nest along our garage. I manage one quick shot this day, and notice the blue pterylae (feather tracts) showing under the skin of the top baby's wing.

I was completely unprepared for the drastic change in the birds from Day 3 to Day 4, August 18. Check this out!

 It's like they more than doubled in size. How did that happen? Sudden influx of crickets and grasshoppers? Creatine? From little blobs with bluish wingnubs to quills?? Look how much more of the nest cup they fill now!

And they're all angles! 

If I came to peek at the nest and Mrs. Piper was there I let her be. I only photographed the babies when I'd casually walk by and find her absent, off gathering food. You can see here the canopy that indigo buntings favor when they select a nest site. It's a rain shield, a sun shield, and I had to poke my camera lens right through the near leaves to get my shots. It was a little tricky, and I relied on the G-12's autofocus entirely.

Day 5. It's a hot one and they are not begging now, but panting.
Their sunshade is working pretty well, but heat reflects off the garage wall. Whew, what a summer it was.

 And where was Piper? Very occasionally seen at his favorite pastime (primping) but never attending the nest. Not even singing. Piper's work, apparently, is done. It may not do to have a brilliant blue ball of feathers flying back and forth to a hidden nest. Mine is not to judge. But I have to say, male indigo buntings have it pretty good. You have to get up at the crack of dawn, but after that it's all singing, mating and primping. Little rock star, what a life you lead. 


I love that watchful eye Mrs. Piper gives you--as if to say "I see you; now just back off. Step away from this nest."

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