We've had a colorful visitor in the yard recently, and today I finally got some decent pictures of him.
Like many other birds, it's the bright, flashy male that the entire species is named after, which is kind of insulting towards the female. I mean, she exists, too, she's half the species, and she's often very pretty in her own right. But with the Indigo Bunting, you can almost forgive those early ornithologists who did the naming, since the male of the species is rather stunning, a fierce gas-flame blue lighting through the verdant flush of summer.
The females are more drab (and this particular picture below isn't the most flattering either, since the angle of the sunlight washes out a lot of her color). But then, drabness is what works for her, since she spends more time sitting on the nest. Bright colors are great for attracting mates, but a smooth dun is better for camouflaging yourself and your children against predators.
We've had a male and female in the yard pretty consistently for the past few days. They might be thinking about nesting near here, so we've been trying to keep the feeders full for them, which is no small feat since the grackles and starlings are feeding their babies now, and a fleet of them can clean out a feeder in a few quick hours.