My Dad took me bird watching a lot when I was a kid.
When you’re a bird watcher, you always need to bring someone with you or you need to bring a camera. You need proof that you’ve actually seen a bird. Bird sightings are kind of like trophies or like catching the biggest fish.
When you see birds that you’ve had on your list, it’s very exciting.
Ever since I was little, I’ve had three favorite birds. Those birds were…
- The painted bunting.
- The eastern bluebird.
- The indigo bunting.
Years ago, my Dad came to visit me in Florida and we went to a nature park and saw 10-15 painted buntings circled around a bush, eating the seeds.
It was incredible. They are the most striking and beautiful birds you’ll ever see. There were so many of them, it seemed like hundreds. So I crossed one off the list.
Then about six months ago, I look out my window and I see a bird on the power line. I have bird feeders out back and we attract a lot of blue jays, so my first thought was that it was a blue jay, but I noticed it didn’t have a crown.
I took a second look and saw the brown chest and the big belly.
I said, “holy shit, it’s a bluebird.”
I got my camera out as fast as I could and I snapped this picture.
It was very exciting for me. I immediately sent the picture to my Dad. We celebrated and inspected the picture closely but it’s clearly a bluebird. Here’s a better picture.
When Alex and my Dad came to visit me last weekend, we were going for a walk and Alex looks up in the tree and says “what kind of bird is that?”
I walk a bit closer and I say “yo Pop, I think you got your bluebird.”
It was great. What are the chances? My Dad has been looking for a bluebird for over 10 years and we got to see one together. I was happy for him.
So now all I have left is the indigo bunting.
My Dad says he saw one in Fort Washington Park. I have no reason to think he’s lying, but it doesn’t really matter what I think. He didn’t have a witness and he didn’t have a camera.
So it doesn’t count.
Here’s a picture of an indigo bunting.
I have tattoos on my back of male and female painted buntings and since today, I have tattoos of male and female eastern bluebirds.
The space I am saving on my lower left side of my back is designated for the indigo bunting.
I’ll find one for sure. It will be glorious. It will be a lifelong dream come true.