2016-02-25 / Nature

Rare Painted Bunting Sighting

In recent days, Jim Sweeney, a highly experienced local birdwatcher, sighted a female painted bunting on the Aquidneck Land Trust property at the south end of Anthony Road in Portsmouth. The bird was just off trail near birch trees on the left hand side.

This petite species, with a body length of about 5.75 inches, is a native of the deep American South, Mexico, Central and South America, and is a rare migrant to our region. While male painted buntings have a kaleidoscope of red, blue, yellow and green plumage colors, females have light green wings, back and head, with a light yellowish color to the breast.

Painted buntings are easily attracted to feeders and Portsmouth residents might catch a glimpse of this treasure of nature dining in their yards. — Jack Kelly

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