Lazuli Buntings


Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota


Photo of the Day- July 2, 2020


The Lazuli Bunting is found in western states and this little guy was photographed in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the eastern edge of its range in the United States. I don't see them around Bismarck. This beautiful bird is named after the deep blue semi-precious stone, lapis lazuli, which has been mined and turned into jewelry since early civilizations existed. Male Lazuli Buntings like to perch on the tops of trees and sing. One would think that they would be easily photographed but this bird has been a challenge for me.



2020 Photographs



Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 10, 2020



Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 20, 2020



Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 20, 2020


The lazuli bunting is a North American songbird named for the gemstone lapis lazuli.  The male is easily recognized by its bright blue head and back (lighter than the closely related indigo bunting), its conspicuous white wingbars, and its light rusty breast and white belly. The color pattern may suggest the eastern and western bluebirds, but the smaller size (13–14 cm or 5–5.5 inches long), wingbars, and short and conical bunting bill quickly distinguish it. The female is brown, grayer above and warmer underneath, told from the female indigo bunting by two thin and pale wingbars and other plumage details.  The song is a high, rapid, strident warble, similar to that of the indigo bunting but longer and with less repetition.  Lazuli buntings breed mostly west of the 100th meridian from southern Canada to northern Texas, central New Mexico and Arizona, and southern California. On the Pacific coast their breeding range extends south to extreme northwestern Baja California. They migrate to southeastern Arizona and Mexico. Their habitat is brushy areas and sometimes weedy pastures, generally well-watered, and sometimes in towns.  These birds eat mostly seeds and insects. They may feed conspicuously on the ground or in bushes, but singing males are often very elusive in treetops.  This bird makes a loose cup nest of grasses and rootlets placed in a bush. It lays three or four pale blue eggs. In the eastern and southern part of its range, it often hybridizes with the indigo bunting.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazuli_bunting




Lazuli Bunting

Burleigh County, North Dakota

July 30, 2020



Lazuli Bunting

Burleigh County, North Dakota

July 31, 2020



Lazuli Bunting

Burleigh County, North Dakota

July 31, 2020



Lazuli Bunting

Burleigh County, North Dakota

July 31, 2020



Lazuli Bunting

Burleigh County, North Dakota


Photo of the Day- August 3, 2020



2021 Photographs



Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 3, 2021



Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 4, 2021



Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 5, 2021



Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 19, 2021



Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 19, 2021



Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 23, 2021



Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 23, 2021



Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 23, 2021



A Magical Moment!




Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 24, 2021


I had tried for several years to arrange a time when I could photograph in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park with Mike Lalonde.  Mike had taught photography at Bismarck State College for years and he and I would occasionally come across each other while doing photography in sloughs near Bismarck.  We were able to connect in late June and were photographing red-headed woodpeckers when this beautiful Lazuli Bunting landed 20 yards in front of us.  We already had our long lenses on tripods, there was great morning light with a dark background and we were able to photograph a bird that we had rarely been able to! 



See how he grabbed several shafts for grass with his claws and then grabbed another shaft of grass with his beak!


Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 24, 2021



He then grabbed another shaft of grass with his claws and had seeds in his mouth!


Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 24, 2021



What a beautiful bird!


Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 24, 2021



He grabbed the grass again!


Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 24, 2021



Gorgeous!


Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 24, 2021



How did he get the seed?


Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 24, 2021



He used his beak as a comb and stripped the seed from the shaft of grass!


Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 24, 2021



He moved the seed close to his mouth!


Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 24, 2021



He got the seed!


Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 24, 2021



A well-fed Lazuli!


Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 24, 2021



Working for more seeds!


Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 24, 2021



Back view!


Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 24, 2021



Beautiful!


Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 24, 2021



Side view!


Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 24, 2021



Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 25, 2021



Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 25, 2021



Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 25, 2021



Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 25, 2021



Lazuli Bunting

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

June 25, 2021