Circle B Bar Reserve is a huge place. I’ve walked the trails for fours hours at time and not walked in the same place. The painted buntings have been seen around the nature center and out on the trails during the winter on a regular basis although I rarely see them there. I didn’t expect to see them on this trip in late March. I was walking around behind the nature center and was heading for my car and saw a flash of color go by. I realized it was a painted bunting.
This little guy was eating the seed in the tall grass behind the center.
I realized when I got home and cropped these up that it was one of the regulars that has been seen at the reserve this winter. People call him “Peg Leg” since he is missing his left foot. He’s perched on the stalk with his right foot and his left leg. That’s why you can only see one foot in the first picture.
He flew into a tree and then flew across the parking lot.
I walked over and found a female painted bunting. She really blended into the bushes and this was the only shot I got of her.
I found Peg Leg again as he continued to eat. The leg with the missing foot is quite clear in this shot.
He posed for me, probably thinking “Lady I’m trying to eat.” although I was pretty far away. It was a nice way to end this trip. This might have been a record year of painted bunting sightings for me.