LIFER: Indigo Bunting

Indigo in January

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2 male Indigo Buntings on the lookout!

Migration season is the most exciting season for birders. The adventure of going out to look what we can find in the field, if we can include any new additions to the Curaçao birdlist and the challenge to take a good photo or video of the birds we discover. No digital entertainment needen 🙂


One of the species which has been on my ‘to spot’ list for years is one of the few blue migratory birds we sometimes get as occasional visitors on Curaçao; the Indigo Bunting.

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Female Indigo Bunting

This bird, about 14 cm in length, often sits together with local birds such as Black-faced Grassquits (Mofi), but is slightly larger, and of course has a different colour. Even though the birds will have a duller plumage during the winter months, the colour blue is still very visible. Usually these birds are not expected in January. Imagine the surprise when my colleague Rob Wellens (Curacao Backyard Birding) came back on Sunday with pictures of what at first seemed to be a hybrid between an Indigo Bunting and a Lazuli Bunting (still not confirmed a 100%).

2019 indigo bunting 2_350blogSo of course we went back Monday, in search of better pictures to conclusively ID the species with the help of the specialists at And guess what, we encountered at least 4 birds of which 3 are now conclusively and officially identified by experts as Indigo Buntings. In January.
The species has been spotted on the island before, but wasn’t on the eBird list yet and for met it is a LIFER for sure. A birdwatchers dream

My wish for observing a blue bird this year has been fulfilled! What beauties!

Indigo Bunting – Indigogors – Para indigo
Curacao, Westpunt
January 28 2019

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