A Magical Encounter With A Male Indigo Bunting

I had a delightful experience photographing a male Indigo Bunting while visiting the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. As I was driving the auto tour road through the refuge, a flash of brilliant blue caught my eye. I quickly pulled over and saw that it was a male Indigo Bunting perched on a stem of Johnson Grass near the road.

Male Indigo Bunting Singing
Male Indigo Bunting Singing

This species of songbird is aptly named for its vivid indigo colored plumage. The male I spotted was living up to his dazzling reputation. I quietly parked my pickup truck and was able to get several photos of him through my open window. His jeweled feathers shone brightly in the morning sunlight.

After getting some shots, I continued along the tour route to see what other wildlife I could find. A couple hours later, I looped back around to the same area. Amazingly, the male Indigo Bunting was still perched in nearly the same spot on the Johnson Grass! The different angle of the midday sunlight illuminated him beautifully, so I couldn’t resist taking another photo.

Male Indigo Bunting Perched on Johnson Grass Stem at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge
Male Indigo Bunting Perched on Johnson Grass Stem at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge

Just as I snapped the shutter, he burst into song. I was able to get a short video of his melodic warbling. I felt grateful to this little bird for allowing me the privilege of photographing him not just once, but twice in the same day. It was a special wildlife encounter that I won’t soon forget.

I love when I am able to have experiences like this as a nature photographer. Getting to observe an animal undisturbed in its natural habitat and capturing its beauty through photography is incredibly rewarding. Days like this remind me of why I’m so passionate about photographing birds and other wildlife.

Steve Creek
Wildlife Photographer

Equipment Used:

  • Camera: Canon EOS R5
  • Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM

Technical Details:

  • Location: Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge (Oklahoma)
  • Date and Time Taken: July 18, 2023 (06:35 A. M.)
  • Exposure Mode: Manual
  • Aperture: f7.1
  • Shutter speed: 1/320
  • ISO: 6400 (Auto)
  • Exp. Comp.: 0
  • Focal Length: 500 mm


3 thoughts on “A Magical Encounter With A Male Indigo Bunting”

  1. The Johnson grass and the Indigo Bunting share the same colors.Who could have known about that.
    In the first photo, that color match is amazing………

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