The painted bunting has long been a nemesis bird for me: I'd go to where it was reported and get someone saying, "Oh, it was just here 10 minutes ago!" And it would never be seen again. I knew Space Coast would be my chance to see one but didn't want to put forth too much effort since it's a bird that has a knack of disappearing when I appear.
Word on the conventional hall street was that a local guide for the bird festival lived very close to where the main headquarters of the festival was held. He had bird feeders that were frequently visited by painted buntings. Could I do it. I grabbed WildBird on the Fly late in the afternoon to give it a shot. We played it cool. We didn't rush there, we just happened to drive by.
The gentleman graciously let us in to his home. We watched. In less than five minutes, I saw movement in the surrounding vegetation. Cardinals were coming in, but one flash of red seemed to small. I got my bins on it: it was a male painted bunting! The bird actually exists. After seeing this wondrous creature for years in photos, it was now breathing and moving in front of me--the do exist!
I asked earlier if there were photo requests. How about a video of the male painted bunting: