I love bird-watching on my little homestead. Over the years we have seen a great variety of birds.
We used to put out bird seed, but having an abundance of birds around attracted hawks which would prey on our chickens. I was a bit discouraged because I loved my birds. We have however still provided water and some birds are attracted to the garden so all was not lost.
Several years ago I was so excited when we had a Painted Bunting visit our backyard. I could never get a great picture because I only had my phone to use. When I finally got a good camera, one of my goals was to get a good picture of the Painted Bunting.
However, as the years went by, I was not seeing my beloved Painted Bunting. I always hoped that we would have another good garden that would attract the beautiful creature.
This year I was thinking about the Painted Bunting and had given up hope that I would see it. Because of drought conditions, the garden was dying and didn’t seem to have much to offer.
We ended up with record high heat and multiple days of heat warnings. That ended up attracting multiple birds to the yard for our water sources and garden scraps. Much to my delight the Painted Bunting was among them.
I could not believe that all my waiting was finally over. He seemed to like our Egyptian Walking Onion patch. I did take some pictures, but they were not quite what I had hoped for. The next day I was on the look out again and was thrilled that it returned.
I was finally able to get some better pictures, but still not that great picture that I have been wanting. Nevertheless, I was so happy to be able to spend so much time observing the bird.
He did go for the water when he wasn’t being run off by the bigger birds. Eventually a female Bunting came along too, but a photo op was even more challenging with her and she was not around near as much.
I was certainly glad that I could help the birds out during the heat wave. It was the first time I noticed just how hot the birds could get.
After seeing the Painted Bunting hanging around for a couple of days, my husband did some research about them. He said they were actually more likely to come around because we were not putting out seed that would attract so many birds that would then run them off.
Also the way the garden was done provided a nice food forest for them. The Sunflower patch was another nice place for them to forage for insects in a sheltered environment.
I am not sure if I will see the Painted Bunting again this season, but it has given me great joy. I love that he would choose our humble space as a worthy place to visit. I was so happy to see him making himself at home. It is definitely one of my most thrilling bird-watching experiences.
Photos property of the Faithful Homesteader.