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Why Doesn’t The Female Painted Bunting Get Any Respect?

In our image “Painted Bunting Pair”, the female is on the right. Actually juveniles (including males) look similar to adult females their first year. The males and females are rarely seen together as they are in this image, and it is just as well, because everybody focuses on the male and doesn’t give the female a second glance. THAT IS JUST NOT FAIR. No, this rant isn’t about beauty being more than skin deep, although that’s true. It’s just that green and yellow isn’t all that shabby. Serious birders have what they call L.B.J.s, which stands for Little Brown Jobs. The term is often used to describe things like sparrows, especially the females, which are nondescript and hard to tell apart even by avid birders. Compared to an LBJ, the female painted bunting is gorgeous. Even the females of the other bunting species are envious. As far as I can tell, the female painted bunting’s only mistake is hanging out with him (on the left). Is there a life lesson here?

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