A pair of mature male Painted Buntings at the feeder.
The last Painted Buntings have left the Backyard and heading for breeding grounds along the Georgia/South Carolina Coast this weekend. The first Painted Bunting arrived in early October and as usually they spent almost seven months in the Backyard. Although the first to arrive and last to leave are probably not part of the resident group of 6-8 we had this year, but Buntings passing through on their way south and north. There undoubtedly many birds that use the Backyard as a resting place. The trend of fewer mature males continued this season with only two to three mature males and 5-6 "Greenies" which are females or immature males. The population has been like this for the past three years. These birds are somewhat unique in that they have one of the shortest "migrations" in the bird world. They will travel only 300 miles or so from central Florida to their breeding grounds in coastal Georgia and South Carolina.