Daily Bread for 5.6.24: A Varied Bunting, a First for Birders in Wisconsin

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 71. Sunrise is 5:40 and sunset 8:02 for 14h 21m 51s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 4 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Equal Opportunities Commission meets at 5 PM.

On this day in 1915,  Babe Ruth, then a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, hits his first major league home run.

Paul Smith reports Varied bunting spotted in Grafton, first documented sighting in Wisconsin history:

GRAFTON – Birds were active about 6:35 a.m. Saturday as Bob Dohr of Pewaukee walked on a gravelly path atop the bluff at Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve in Grafton.

A pair of northern cardinals, the brilliant red male and the tawny female, foraged near the trail. And nearby a smaller, darker bird but with a cardinal-like shape also showed.


What they at first thought could be an indigo bunting, a bright blue songbird that nests in Wisconsin, turned out to be a close (genetically) but distant (geographically) relative.

The men scrutinized images of the bird on their cameras, shook their heads at the improbability of the evidence but had no doubt what they were seeing.

It was a varied bunting, a species mostly found in Mexico.


The sighting was confirmed as the state’s first record of the species, said Mark Korducki of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. The organization is the official keeper of state bird records.

Moreover, it is the farthest north the species has ever been documented, according to eBird, an online bird reporting system run by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Only two other varied bunting sightings, one along Lake Erie in southern Ontario and one in Pennsylvania, have been recorded in eastern North America.

There are yet new discoveries to be made in Wisconsin, and far beyond.

The Sun’s corona in exquisite detail:

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