Yakima County's Second Indigo Bunting Found Along Audubon Road in the Wenas on June 10

Editor’s Note: These are Richard Repp’s reflections about another wonderful bird sighting in Yakima County. This is copied from an e-mail that Richard sent to BirdYak.

In the event there may be a few Yakkers (shorthand for members of BirdYak) that do not fall into the category one of YVAS former presidents described as “kamikaze birders” (read super intense about viewing birds, hearing birds, reading about birds), but have an interest in what is being seen in the Yakima area, I thought I would go out on a limb with a bit more info on the lingering Indigo Bunting.

Image - Indigo Bunting (Photo by Jeff Bixler)
Indigo Bunting (Photo by Jeff Bixler)

First a disclaimer: because of my weight and age, going out on a limb has been fraught with disaster for me personally in the past. If I had better sense, I’d avoid limbs altogether as even my own seem to creak in the slightest breeze or movement. But once in awhile, I get brave because a branch appears as sound as any in a mature healthy oak tree.

I suppose I spend more time reading bird lists and postings than most Yakkers. I tripped over a couple of things that may be of interest to those wondering if the Indigo’s reported constant vocalizations were a case of singing the blues or more in the purported realm of rock singers who boast of attracting scads of partners willing to step beyond listening and dancing. Another spoiler alert: some of the following may fall into the most salacious reading one would expect to encounter on BirdYak.

I was looking in the Explore Data section of eBird and found a couple of notes on the lists of eBirders reporting the Indigo. One recent list stated,

“Actively chasing a female Lazuli Bunting around, attempting to court her (maybe we’ll get a hybrid brood!).”

An earlier list was a bit more revealing,

“Continuing male at first yellow gate on Audubon Rd. Singing on and off, copulated three times with a female LAZB! Female appeared whitish underneath with no contrasting white throat so presumed LAZB attempted hybridization!”

Remains to be seen if our Indigo has created a seasonal pairing or if he a libidinous gigolo or a player. While Jason Fidorra is rightfully thanked for reporting the Indigo in many posts, it appears that he was traveling with two other birders - Frank Stetler and Ivar Husa. So kudos to those two also for helping to bring so much blue into BirdYak content. Thanks also to Scott for the initial heads up and to Denny for the quick follow up to confirm the bird was sticking around.

And there are many photos included in eBird lists submitted. Here (I hope) is a link to the eBird Explore Data location that will allow you to access submitted lists. Simply scroll down towards the bottom and click on “map” beside the entry for Indigo Bunting. Feel free to review any of the 300+ species include on the list.

-Richard Repp, Wenas Wanderer

Another Editor’s Note: The first Indigo Bunting to be seen in Yakima County was found by Valerie Ramirez visiting her feeder at her house on Fair Ave. in Yakima, across the street from the Sun Dome. She got good photos of this incredible bird and identified it with the help of a Reader’s Digest book on the birds of North America. It was a fantastic sighting and identification by a beginning birder!