BIRD OF THE WEEK — INDIGO BUNTING — PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD group

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BIRD OF THE WEEK

INDIGO BUNTING

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Passerina cyanea 
POPULATION: 78 million
TREND: Decreasing
HABITAT: Shrubby areas such as old fields, hedgerows, and forest edges.

A male Indigo Bunting in breeding plumage is a glorious symphony of shimmering blues, turquoises, and purples. But these beautiful colors are illusory.

Bunting owes its glorious appearance to an optical trick — the diffraction of light through its feathers. In poor lighting, the bunting’s glorious colors disappear and it becomes a plain, dark-colored finch.

But Indigo Buntings are more than a treat for the eyes — this species also helped reveal some important secrets about how birds migrate.

Top Contributors

DansPhotoArtHawkeye2011DiegojacklittlebiddleS C photos
Goldcrest ♂ (Regulus regulus)//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Fire-tailed Sunbird//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Goldfinch Dundalk//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

purple Honeycreeper Cyanerpus Caeruleus//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow"//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

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