Could I interest you in some buntings?

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This summer was full of buntings. A bunting-filled summer. Buntings everywhere. We can offer Painted, Indigo, Lazuli, and Varied. Take your pick. Come one, come all. But this is weird because I’m talk-tying like this is present tense and it’s actually past tense. But you know what I’m getting at.

More to the point: this post is about Varied Buntings. As you can see from the photos, the males wear the fancy pants. And damn! Aren’t they fancy?!

Yes, they are. I’ve lived in the Hill Country for six breeding seasons, and have only ever seen one Varied Bunting before. So when a whole family appeared at one of the field sites, well. Well, yeah! Very cool.

I guess Varied Buntings aren’t really all that well studied and there aren’t a whole lot of cases of them breeding in this area. A pleasant surprise indeed.

This pair had three fledglings that I could see (possibly a fourth but he was very elusive) and they were probably only 2-3 days out of the nest. There was a family and a family all hanging out right next to the Varied group. It was mildly overstimulating. Eatin’ musta been real good!

Varied Buntings are just a little bit smaller than the Painteds, Lazulis, and Indigos. If you want to get a good look at these guys, you’re gonna have to get yourself down to southern Texas, Arizona, or New Mexico. Oh and hey! Merry-happy holidays if I fail to get back on here before then!

Jill Wussow

Jill Wussow

, 31, is a seasonal field biologist, nature photographer and nomad. She has worked with several federally endangered bird species (including the Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo and Piping Plover), sea turtles, and bats all over the United States. She is rarely in one place for more than a few months at a time and her whereabouts are often confusing. Field work has given her great opportunity to travel often and meshes with her passion for wildlife and nature photography perfectly. Through her photography, Jill hopes to convey her love and respect of the natural world.

Jill Wussow

Jill Wussow

Jill Wussow is a seasonal field biologist, nature photographer and nomad. She has worked with several federally endangered bird species (including the Golden-cheeked Warbler, Black-capped Vireo and Piping Plover), sea turtles, and bats all over the United States. She is rarely in one place for more than a few months at a time and her whereabouts are often confusing. Field work has given her great opportunity to travel often and meshes with her passion for wildlife and nature photography perfectly. Through her photography, Jill hopes to convey her love and respect of the natural world.

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