The full story on the Painted Bunting

Here’s an article I wrote for The Hour newspaper about the Painted Bunting in Stamford, Conn.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Painted Bunting visits a yard in Stamford, Conn., on Jan. 22, 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Painted Bunting visits a yard in Stamford, Conn., on Jan. 22, 2016.

STAMFORD — For the second consecutive year, one of America’s most colorful birds has flown off course and ended up in a yard in Stamford.

A male Painted Bunting, a five-inch songbird resplendent in bright blue, green, yellow and red plumage, has been seen daily since Jan. 21 in the Cove Road yard of David and Ginger Winston.

It is presumed to be the same bird that visited the Winstons’ yard last year from March to April. It is not, however, likely the same Painted Bunting that garnered national media attention in November by visiting Prospect Park in New York City.

“You never get tired of looking at it,” Stefan Martin, a birdwatcher from Stamford said Monday while looking for the bird.

David Winston, a birdwatcher and nature photographer, said about 80 people have visited in the last week in hopes of getting a look at the vibrantly colored bird. Last year, 330 people visited to see the bird. “People came from Maine, New Hampshire, Verm …

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Painted Bunting returns to SW Connecticut

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Photo by Chris Bosak A Painted Bunting visits a yard in Stamford, Conn., on Jan. 22, 2016.

No, I’m not on vacation in Florida. Why would I leave New England in the winter? I love New England winters. (I say that now, the day before a big storm is supposed to hit.)

No, these Painted Bunting photos were taken in Stamford, Connecticut. It’s a rare sight to see a Painted Bunting (or anything this colorful) in New England, but this guy is back for his second New England winter. In fact, he is in the same location as he was last winter … in the yard of a birder/nature photographer, ironically enough.

Luckily he is in the yard of David Winston, one of the nicer guys you’ll ever meet. He doesn’t mind (in fact he welcomes) the birders who come see this incredible bird. David and Ginger also hosted this guy last winter, from March to April. Well, that’s really spring, you may say to yourself. Not last year, it wasn’t. Last March and early April were definitely winter.

It was surprising enough that this gaudy bird showed up in Stamford last year, but a repeat performance? It seems this guy is just wired differently than most Painted Buntings. How will this guy fare in the storm that is scheduled to hit New England sometime on Saturday (Jan. 23, 2016) morning? Who knows for sure, but probably (hopefully) OK as he survived much colder temperatures last w Continue reading