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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Painted Buntings will RARELY come to a feeder

Painted Bunting
The diet of a Painted Bunting is mostly insects; very rarely seed.  Some may not eat seed in their entire lifetime, depending on food availability in their environment. When feeding their young (shown to left), they feed 100% insects!

Painted Bunting
No, it's not someone's escaped pet! Only the male is brightly colored. The female is a dull lime green, so it blends in with the natiral landscape. You'll hardly ever see either at your seed feeder.

The best way to lure one to your yard is with clean birdbaths, not feeders. Like almost all birds, they love splashing around in birdbaths, and will often appear at one while shunning a feeder.
Painted Bunting

WHERE TO PUT A BIRDBATH; GUIDELINES  Let me start by stating the worst and best places for a birdbath. The worst is right in the middle of a lawn, where there is no escape route for bathing birds if a predator appears. The best place is where you can conveniently see it through a window.

The edge of a vegetated area is almost always a good location. (The picture is of a birdbath at my house)  In that location a wet bird (which can't fly very well) can flutter to a nearby branch or into dense vegetation. Thus he or she can quickly escape a predator, like a cat or an unexpected human.

Speaking of cats, birdbaths should be 2 or 3 feet off the ground, making it more difficult for a predator to sneak up on a bathing bird. Birdbaths should also be about 2 inches deep at the most. If the one you have is deeper, just put a rock (or several) in it.

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