Fancy Feathers  LbNA # 51244

OwnerLone Star Quilter    
Placed DateOct 29 2009
LocationVanderpool, TX
Found By Five Tiger Family
Last Found Nov 11 2012
Hike Distance?

Male Painted Buntings are the most spectacularly colored of all North American songbirds, with a gaudy combination of red, blue, and green feathers (Fancy Feathers, indeed!). This species has two distinct breeding populations in North America, one along the east coast and the other from Louisiana and Oklahoma, down through Texas and northern Mexico, but overall, it has shown a significant decline across its entire range during the past 35 years. The exact causes for Painted Bunting's decline are not known, but they are believed to include habitat loss, cowbird parasitism on the east coast, and trapping for the European pet trade on its wintering grounds in southern Mexico. I saw my second Painted Bunting at Lost Maples a couple of years ago and I could sit for hours in the blind and watch them and the other birds that visit this spot. Iíve also seen them at South Llano River State Park at Junction. The first time I ever saw a Painted Bunting was on the bird feeder outside my window in Coldspring (East Texas). He must have been lost and hungry, because Iíve never seen another one there.

Directions: Lost Maples State Natural Area is located 5 miles north of Vanderpool, Texas, on Ranch Road 187. Stop at the visitors center and pay the park fees. Obtain a map and find the Bird Viewing Blind. Park in the parking lot there. In the summer time, you will probably see a painting bunting, but you will see beautiful birds at any time of the year.

To the box: From the bird blind, walk down the road towards the trailhead. Look to your left and you will see a ridge of gray rocks and boulders. In the middle of it all, you will see two large square boulders very close together, almost looking like a wall from this vantage point. Fancy Feathers is on the near side of those boulders, where they meet, behind small rocks. Please be sure to leave him well hidden when you leave. Thanks.