New Sabine guest! Oooo … look at the colors

I have been watching the feeder on an off and had a real surprise!

First, a second pair of Red Breasted Grosbeaks has come around.

This is a rather motely fellow.  He isn’t as well marked.  Perhaps he is young.

I have seen also his Mrs. Motley Grosbeak but I don’t have her photo yet.

The House Finch is frequently around.

Just to show that the Red Bellied Woodpecker does indeed have a red belly.

But the big surprise was this very cautious bird I haven’t been able to shoot clearly.

He just turned up this afternoon.  I hope to see him in the morning, when the sun is on the feeder.

When he took off and went into the light, his color was amazing.

This is, I believe, Indigo Bunting!

I will keep the lens trained.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. tara says:

    What beautiful pictures–you must have a great camera and an artist’s eye–my favorite is the house finch. I have a bird that has nested in a small decorative bird house by our front door–but I can’t seem to capture them in pictures–they always fly away. My husband goes in our back door, so he doesn’t disturb the birds. They have bird eggs inside the nest–I’m hoping to get some pictures of the babies.

  2. Hurrah for Indigo! I wonder if Mrs. Indigo Bunting will turn up?

    And thanks for setting me at ease regarding the red belly of the woodpecker, Father. :-)

  3. georgeaquinas says:

    Fr. Z., you are correct that is an Indigo Bunting.

  4. wayne ratzinger says:

    Mrs Motley Grosbeak….Mrs Motley Grosbeak….I don’t know if the Dali Lama reads your excellent blog, and if he doesn’t, well he should, he’d learn a thing or two. Mrs Motley Grosbeak, is shurely the re-incarnation of the late Cardinal Casaroli, he of Aggiornamento fame, and all round slippery fellow..?.I’ll bet Mrs Motley Grosbeak, and I speak as one who has never met the lady, is very adept at getting her beak into every wirey feeding thingy. The guy with the blue feathers is very cautious, that’s because he’s Conservative and not a Red. I urge you Fr Z, go easy on the Blues, even if liturgically, they are a bit sedevacantist in their choice of feathers. Nuts to Cuckoo’s, there are hundreds of them here in England, all of them raving mad, and keeping us Swans from having our Tridentine Masses.

  5. J. Wong says:

    Father Z., Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Father: Are you cooking for the birds? Is your cooking for the birds?

    Sitting at the hair salon and the color is seeping into my brain….

    Seriously, beautiful photos.

  7. Diane says:


    Do you mind telling us what kind of camera, and what settings you are using? Is it an automatic digital with a sport setting or are you making manual choices?

    Nice shots!

  8. david andrew says:

    Fr. Z,

    Based on the close-ups, I think you’ve got a Purple Finch visiting your feeder, not the more common House Finch. Purple Finch males have a short, notched tail, like this one. House Finch males have slightly longer tails that are scalloped, rather than notched.

  9. Phillip says:

    Reverend Father, I am impressed by your love of birds. Several years ago, I built a bird feeder and placed it in my Grandma’s backyard. I loved all the visitors who came: finches, canaries, and cardinals are just a few that I can remember. I also had a pet Parakeet for nearly six years. She was a strongbird, and she died due to having an egg stuck in her — something like that. She had no mate, and she became large and puffy and just dropped dead. Seeing your post reminds me of the good ol’ days.

  10. Coletta says:

    Father, I love your birds! I saw a lovely cardinal on the walk to work today.
    Your Indigo is beautiful! Thank you for sharing! p.s. 3:00 a.m.- I just finished the Pentecost Podcazt for today – Had some work to do and your podcazt made it bearable!God Bless you!

  11. david: I have been going back and forth about whether it is a Purple Finch or a House Finch. Actually, I may have both coming.

  12. Jenny says:

    That is indeed an indigo bunting. The fascinating thing about an indigo bunting is that its feathers are actually brown. There is something about the cell structure and the way light bounces off it that makes the feathers look blue to us while the true color is brown. But what a glorious blue it is.

  13. Jenny: I saw Mr. Bunting this morning hang around on the sock full of thistle seed I have out on the back porch for the Goldfinch Eating Team. He was busy at breakfast and the Team were hopping around and hoping he would leave so that they could get in there again. The Sparrow Squad was content to do clean up of what had fallen on the deck. There was also a Mourning Dove, a singular dove. I haven’t seen the mate around for a couple days: perhaps this is a nesting situation. I hope this is not a dove in mourning.

  14. Fr. Z-
    “the Goldfinch Eating Team”
    ROFL! Mr. Bunting must be quite intimidating if he can singlehandedly hold of an entire team of hungry Goldfinches!

  15. Thomas says:


    Your house finch looks more like a purple finch to me. The house finch normally has a brown strip from the eye down to the neck. Any other birds have an opinion?


    PS When you appeared on the biography of the Holy Father on EWTN a few weeks back, my eight-year old daughter walked into the room and shouted, “Father Z!!!!” After a bout 20 seconds, though, she asked if I would turn you off and put in a Bugs Bunny DVD. But take heart, if you are going to lose, there is no shame in losing to the Wascally Wabbit.

  16. John Paul says:

    Father, do you have problems with “yard rats” and huge swarms of grackels
    attacking your feeder? It was enough to finally make me give up on feeding
    the birds, despite all the so called “proven methods” of preventing them
    from getting to the feeders.

  17. you need to get that poor woodpecker a proper feeder. lol.

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