[Mystery bird] Painted Bunting, Passerina ciris, photographed at Pelican Island, A&M Property, Galveston, Texas. [I will identify this bird for you tomorrow]
Image: Joseph Kennedy, 19 April 2007 [larger view].
Nikon D200, Kowa 883 telescope TSN-PZ camera eyepiece 1/320s f/8.0 at 500.0mm iso400.
Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.
Rick Wright, Managing Director of WINGS Birding Tours Worldwide, writes:
There are very few bright green birds north of Mexico. This is a fairly small bird, with a short tail, medium-short wing, and a heavy, "seed-eating" bill. And it is well and truly green, above and below, its verdancy relieved only by a clear but narrow whitish eye-ring.
Our first thought when we hear the words "Painted Bunting" is the always the incredibly parti-colored adult male; but female-plumaged birds are just as beautiful. The intensely green color is shared by nothing else, out-greening even the brightest of Orange-crowned Warblers. The swollen, pointed bill, the small head and short tail, are typical of the Passerina buntings, and only Painted Bunting -- a bird on the move north and west -- is this bright, far brighter than the pale brown Indigo and Lazuli or the dark brown Varied.
Eeek. First to guess... (gulp). Well, I believe this is a female Painted Bunting. The eye, and the overall green color, plus the apparent size.
Agreed: Female Painted Bunting. I don't know this bird personally (wish I did), but we've seen it a fair amount with the CONE Welder camera.
The general 'sparrow' size and shape with the green color make me say female or juvenile painted bunting.
Well, I believe this is a female Painted Bunting. The eye, and the overall green color, plus the apparent size
Now two birders have mentioned the bird's eye; that's a mark I'm not familiar with. What's helpful to the identification there?
For me, it's the way the eye looks to have a ring around it - it doesn't really, but there's just something about the way it looks.
Excellent photo, in fact all of yours! That the female of the species look just as beautiful contradicts most other animals. A lion or a peacock, for example is arguably more beautiful than their female counterparts. However, I find human females more beautiful!