Friday, May 6, 2011

Indigo Buntings here at Songbird Prairie



May 6, 2011 by songbirdprairie | Edit




http://www.qwiki.com/q/#!/Indigo_Bunting



Come out to see a fireball of citrus orange and black, the Baltimore oriole next to the breathtaking tropical blue of the male Indigo Bunting? Look no further, come to northwest Indiana to Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast and as you enjoy your three course hot breakfast, you will see the colorful birds serenade and entertain you. Here's what a guest had to say about breakfast!


We are so proud to receive such favorable reviews as these:
 
 The Perfect Birthday Gift ! 5/2/2011

It was my sister's birthday and I wanted to do something special for her. She is not a person who likes to spend the night away so this was the perfect fit for her. Barbara and Efrain could not have been more gracious!!! Barbara even remembered her birthday!! We were absolutely delighted with the breakfast and how the presentation was so beautiful not to mention that the food was excellent!!! The four season room that we dined in was overwhelming! The wooded scenery and songbirds fantastic!! Then we were given a room with fireplace and wonderful bath to change into for our massage. The robes were plush and Sharon the therapist was great!! While we waited our turns for our massage, we were graciously invited to relax in the awesome fourseason room. (other patrons were gone by then) It was like being in tree house!!! We loved it!! I will certainly return as a guest and I have told everyone I know how great it is to have this treasure in our own backyard. Do not hesitate to visit this bed and breakfast!! You will be just as delighted as we were!! Sincerely, Mary Ann A



Appearing all black against the light, the male indigo bunting properly lit is an unforgettable sight. A persistent late-season singer, he sings a jingly song comprised of paired notes that are often described as: Fire! Fire! Where! Where! Here! Here! Put it out! Put it out! Much of what we know about celestial navigation in songbirds derives from work with captive buntings at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, but you don’t have travel far from downtown Chicago to see the Indigo. Just 45 minutes southeast to the country of Valparaiso, IN home of Valparaiso University.

The male indigo bunting is so breathtaking with its tropical blue and silvery bill. The females and immatures are a warm cocoa brown overall. This bunting has a habit of twitching its tail to the side, and its spit note is characteristic. Males change their blue feathers for brown in autumn, which makes for some interestingly mottled specimens. They molt again on the wintering grounds in Central and northern South America and return in spring, blue once more. This species is common on roadsides and disturbed areas there “trashy” vegetation flourishes. Power lines cuts, old fields, landfills, railroads, and hedgerows ring with the songs of indigo buntings, especially as summer reaches its fullest. That is where you will find them right here at Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast.The indigo bunting takes insects when they are available, especially to feed its nestlings. Weed seeds are its mainstay, and thistle from the feeders, supplemented by berries and small fruits. It forages on or near the ground, as well as in low shrubs and trees. Watch for them in autumn, bending grass stems and flickering their tails side to side as they forage in weedy patches here at Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast. Indigo buntings have a rather loose definition of monogamy, with extra pair copulations being frequent. Males visit females in neighboring territories, and females visit males. Males vary in their tendency to feed young. Some are attentive parents where as other leave most of the chick rearing to their mates. The nest is bulky but compact, cup-shaped and constructed of bark strips, grasses and weed stems and skeletonized leaves, all bound with spider webs. It’s often low in blackberry, sumac or other brushy vegetation. These birds nest quite late in the season, reflecting their dependence on late maturing weed seeds. Three to four eggs are incubated by the female for about 12 days, and the young leave the nest 8-14 days later. Early in the spring you may see them feasting on dandelion seeds. Later, black oil sunflower seeds and millet mixed prove attractive. They love coneflower, Mexican hat, cosmos, coreopsis and especially foxtail grasses. Come and enjoy the beauty of the indigo bunting here at Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast.

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