The Blues,alive and well in Louisiana
This male Eastern Bluebird seemed out of place in this Cypress tree. The group was torn having to decide between watching him, the 20+ Ruby-throated Hummingbirds performing an aerial circus at the nearby feeders, or tracking down the numerous singing birds which included Prothonotary Warbler and Yellow-throated Vireo among others. I took a few moments to soak up this bird's subdued version of blues before moving on to the others.
Of course, it is very difficult to top the wide range of varying blues offered up by an adult male Indigo Bunting in sunlight. Especially when served up "in your face" as this fellow did.
As this little Indigo performed for us, numerous Mississippi Kites and Broad-winged Hawks peeled over the tree-lined road. Nearby a Yellow-breasted Chat performed a little "sky dance" as he joined the morning chorus. A diminutive male Ruby-throated Hummingbird settled on the wire above us to enjoy the show. Not far away a male Painted Bunting sang and showed off his "purplish-blue" cap but was a bit too shy to remain for pictures after all participants had gotten their scope views. He did continue to entertain us with his song though even while out of sight. Gone but not forgotten perhaps?!?...
While the name implies all purple, when you see an adult Purple Gallinule you soon realize that this bird has as much blues as any. The range of blues here run through the entire spectrum. While the singing voice isn't as spectacular as some of the others I'd appreciated this day, it was still great hearing the rail like calls as these birds performed their springtime rituals. Perhaps it was the season bringing them out on to the stage or just the sheer multitude of numbers but I was thrilled to see at least 40 individual Purple Gallinules at La Cassine NWR. It was spectacular!
adult Purple Gallinule displaying, La Cassine NWR, Louisiana 4/26/07
When shadowed you can even see the wonderful powder blue coloration on the unfeathered bill shield further complementing my appreciation of Louisiana's "blues". Certainly, more people attended the annual music fest than went birding in the area this day, but I for one was not at all disappointed with my choice of venue and the appreciative performer above even stopped and bowed for us at the end of this show!