Buntings of the Concho Valley


I have spent these cold days at the computer, re-editing some older images that I had made several years ago.  Since my post-editing has improved with newer software, I thought that I would post some of those older photos again.  Of course, my favorite of the buntings here in west Texas has to be the Painted Bunting.  Truly, a bird that has colors, that on close examination, appears to be hand-painted by the Man upstairs himself.  There are even smeared spots that it looks like He got a bit “outside the lines”.

Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting - singing from the highest treetops.

Painted Bunting – singing from the highest treetops.

Painted Bunting - bath time.

Painted Bunting – bath time.

Painted Bunting - female of the species.

Painted Bunting – female of the species.

Equally pretty, is the the Lazuli Bunting.  This one photographed at the Hummer House Bird Refuge at Christoval, Texas.

Lazuli Bunting

Lazuli Bunting

Then we can’t forget the Indigo Bunting.  This one seems to be enjoying a shower under an artificial mister.  Photographed at the same location.

Indigo Bunting - bath time

Indigo Bunting – shower time

Below we have the Lark Bunting.  This specie is actually in the sparrow family, a Calamospiza, where the other buntings are Passerinas.  I have included it simply because of the name.  This is an adult winter male.  The summer adult male is black except for the white flashings on the wings.

Lark Bunting - adult winter male

Lark Bunting – adult winter male

Lark Bunting - adult winter male

Lark Bunting – adult winter male

There is another bunting in west Texas that I have yet to see or photograph, and that is the Varied Bunting.  I hope to get an image of it this year and you will be the first to know.  I hope you have enjoyed these.  Just click on any of them to see some nice enlargements.

Prints of these photos are available for sale, as is my book “Birds, Beasts and Buttes”.  Contact me for more information.

Blue, Blue Grosbeaks


Blue Grosbeak  (Passerina caerulea).  One of my favorite blue birds that is not a bluebird.  It is of course, one of the grosbeaks.  The grosbeaks are in the bunting family, and the Blue Grosbeak is a  close relative of the Indigo Bunting.  I have several images in my files, but I don’t think I had ever posted any of them, so I will show you these three.  These birds are plentiful around San Angelo, however, these particular images were captured at the bird viewing area at the Davis Mountains State Park, near Fort Davis, Texas.

I love shooting with my long 500mm lens at large apertures.  I then get that nice blurred bokeh in the background.  I hope you enjoy.  Click an any image to see an enlargement.

Blue Grosbeak 1

  • Canon EOS 40D
  • Canon 100-400mm zoom lens
  • 1/250 sec. @ f6.3
  • ISO 800
  • Lens focal distance  370mm
  • Metering – center weighted
  • Aperture priority

Blue Grosbeak 2

  • Canon EOS 40D
  • Canon EOS 500mm IS lens with 1.4 tele-converter
  • 1/160 sec. @ f6.3
  • ISO 800
  • Lens focal distance 700mm
  • Metering – spot
  • Aperture priorty

Blue Grosbeak 3

  • Canon EOS 40D
  • Canon 500mm IS lens with 1.4 tele-converter
  • 1/125 sec. @ f6,3
  • ISO 800
  • Lens focal distance  700mm
  • Metering – spot
  • Aperture priority