Tiny bird pecking holes in a sunflower leaf

albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)July 18, 2008

The smallest bird, other than a humming bird, that I have ever seen is persistently pecking holes, and or eating, the leaves of some sunflowers.

The sunflowers are at the end of a row and get more shade than the others and are not very vigorous.

This tiny, tiny, bird with a dark blue back and a dirty cream breast just vigorously attacks the leaves, proximal I think is the word, back near the stem. Making holes up to a half inch in diameter.

I have never seen the bird anywhere else.

I have examined the leaves with a hand held magnifier and cannot find any insects.

I live in the high desert. In the Great Basin of Utah and Nevada. Hot, dry, the sage brush and tumble weed are sparse and sickly.

Anyone care to conjecture what the bird is or why it is doing this thing?

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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

It's looking for bugs....and by it's persistance, I would say finding some.
Find a book of the birds in your area and see what matches.
Linda C

    Bookmark   July 18, 2008 at 2:12PM
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Hello albert,
It might be a mountain bluebird. Here's a link to some pictures to compare.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mountain Bluebird

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 4:46AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

Yes brockthegeek it did look a lot like the picture at he Nevada Wildlife Federation site and showed a tendency to hover as the site describes. The bird was smaller than their description and about 2500 feet lower but this is harsh country, we'll allow it some leeway for variation.

I suppose some insect could be making the holes in the sunflower leaf and the bird was feasting on the insect. That is the way it is supposed to happen isn't it?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2008 at 10:49AM
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