Many people have a general interest in birds but with some people there is usually one particular bird that they come upon that will draw their undivided attention and will strike something much deeper within them--something that puts them over the edge of bird watching and into the world of birding. Birders refer to this as their "spark bird". I came upon my spark bird in North Carolina in 1992 along a small woodland edge. To my delight this bird is a very common bird. I come across it over and over and every time I see it I am reminded of those flying sparks! My spark bird was the Indigo bunting.
This is not just a bluebird, it is a BLUE BIRD! The color amazes me--from head to tail, front and back--blue, all blue, the male is! It seems to me to be a magical color in the bird world, but I am not sure about it being a true blue though! I had a friend ( a birder friend) who once told me that a bird flew into the path of his truck and was struck down. In shock he pulled over to see what kind of bird it was. It was a Indigo bunting...a male...blue as blue laying in the sunlight on the road. As he picked the bird up he noticed it was blue no more--it was black. We could be anthropomorphic ( as I am want to be) and say that in death it loses its vibrance of life with its color fading fast. In reality though I think that blue is the color in the spectrum that needs light to diffract through it--giving it its color. Perhaps this is why we always see these male Indigo buntings sitting up high on the utility wires in the full summer sun and belting out its endless and glorious song all summer long. But as we know from our own lives looks are not everything! This birds song is a beauty within itself and the stamina of the bird pours forth even in mid August when all other birds have given up song! Nothing deters this bird from singing! This is a bird full of life with traits to be admired by a mere human such as myself!
The picture above of the Indigo bunting was taken by Khanh Tran of Portland Oregon. It was taken at South Padre Island Texas. We viewed this bird together!