How Blue Do You Need To Be?

Who needs orioles when you have indigo buntings?

So, I had a little time this morning before I buckled down and started packing for the Detroit Lakes Festival, (I'm heading out tomorrow morning). I thought I might head down to Wood Lake Nature Center and maybe to the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and attempt for some oriole photos since I didn't have much luck last Saturday.

Orioles were just not in the cards again today. When I got to Wood Lake--which literally had warblers dripping from the tree branches, there was just too much construction going on. It's already noisy there since it's bordered by a major interstate, but today there was lawn mowing and construction and all the sound was giving me a headache.

So I went to the Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge Headquarters, though also noisy since it's next to the airport and right on an interstate as well--but no lawn mowing and a male indigo bunting was singing like there was no tomorrow.

If you haven't figured it out yet, I ended up taking about 113 photos of him instead. I'm kinda hoping that my bad luck with orioles continues this spring--up until today I didn't have any terrific indigo bunting photos like these.

The male bunting was making the rounds on his territory, alternating his singing stations in some shrubs in front of me, a lone tall tree to my left and a whole line of trees behind me. The shrubs had a small rock fence in front of it.

The male indigo bunting flew over to the shrubs and sang and then flew down to the fence. The above photo is the male singing on the fence (the wind was blowing so his nictating membrane is over his eye to protect it from dust--that's why it looks weird). He sang so long, I got tired of taking photos and then I thought to myself, "Dude, what are you doing? This is the best look at an indigo bunting you've ever had in your life! Quit taking photos and just enjoy it, ya' door knob!"

And I did for another ten minutes.

Oh, and we figured out the photo contest mix up. Both Leanne and Philip were incredibly understating--and again, thanks to all the readers who VERY KINDLY pointed out my mistake--I love you guys--you make blogging so much fun. Leanne is still getting the Singing Life of Birds book and I told Philip that I'd get him an autographed Sibley this weekend. So, it's all good.