Painted Buntings are considered among the most elegant and colorful of songbirds. They are also localized and uncommon to see. They are found in brushy lowlands and the native scrub vegetation at the Santa Clara Ranch in South Texas makes a perfect place for these gorgeous birds to live. We saw both the brightly colored male and the more subdued green female each day on our visit there but on the third day, the hottest at 100°, we were treated not only to a lengthy display of bathing behavior but to a few moments while the male rested on
the most photogenic and closest of the nearby perches. In this photograph, this male Painted Bunting is not singing but rather is cooling off in an avian version of panting.
Nikon D5, Nikkor 500mm PF lens.