Illustrator Christina Mattison Ebert shares depictions and information on coastal birds
Overgrown shrubbery on the side of a road rarely captures one’s attention, but look close enough at the right time of year and you might just catch a glimpse of brilliant blue. That flash of rich color is the plumage of the indigo bunting, a sparrow-like bird that passes through the Gulf Coast during spring migration.
Indigo buntings feel most at home hopping around in dense brush, usually at the edge of a road or clearing. Like many bird species, the colorful variation of plumage is characteristic of a male, while the female’s feathers are generally brown.
Fun fact: Indigo buntings are tremendous celestial navigators. They migrate at night and use the movement of stars to orient their trajectories. Researchers confirmed this behavior in the 1960s using a planetarium in which they artificially altered the movement of stars.