In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Most amazing news ever

An Indigo Bunting has arrived on McNutt's Island. According to Robie Tuft's Birds of Nova Scotia, Indigo Buntings have been reported in Nova Scotia regularly through most of the past century, especially in the southwestern counties. Their average date of appearance has been April 19th. It used to be thought that they had been blown off course, but as Tuft remarks, storms do not occur that regularly.

Tuft calls their presence here "enigmatical," since they arrive in April and early May, but are not much seen after that. Tuft suggests that they arrive here by mistake, re-orient themselves, and then return south, to their breeding grounds in Maine, where they arrive in mid-May.

According to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Indigo Bunting "migrates at night, using the stars for guidance. It learns its orientation to the night sky from its experience as a young bird observing the stars."

Maybe if the Indigo Bunting requires clear skies for its night migration it could become disoriented by cloud cover. We have had two days and nights of strong wind and rain. Could there be some connection?

Here are some pictures of the Indigo Bunting eating seed in the side yard, just beyond the picket fence. Juncos and a Mourning Dove are sharing his well-earned meal.

I do so love the notion of a young Indigo Bunting sitting quietly somewhere in Cuba on winter nights, watching the sky, learning the stars.

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