A Painted Bunting in January?

My son saw it first. He came and got me so I could see him. (I was washing hummingbird feeders for the rufous ones we have this winter.) We had a male painted bunting eating Scott Superior Blend Wild Bird Food. It has mostly millet, which is why I bought it and that is what this colorful guy was eating. He’s not supposed to be here right now according to the books. I don’t think some of the birds read the books. I was so excited I moved too fast and too close to the window and scared him away twice, but he came back both times. The third time he landed on the feeder and sat there eating and chirping for five minutes while I made Bird Sighting Phone Calls and watched him. You can see what they look like here. Tomorrow, I hope to get some batteries for my new camera and I hope he comes back so I can get some photos of my own!

ADDENDUM: I’ve learned that a painted bunting on the Gulf Coast in the winter isn’t unheard of. It is rare though.

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