It’s hard not to be impressed by this bright beauty. The male indigo bunting demands attention with its striking blue color but, as with the blue jay and eastern bluebird, it isn’t truly blue. The feathers of blue birds don’t actually contain any blue pigment, which is actually quite rare in the natural world. The blue hue is created by the optical illusion of light scattering. When light hits a blue feather, all the colors of the wavelength are absorbed, except blue. You can experience this for yourself if you find a blue feather: hold it up so light shines behind it and you’ll see its true brown color. Remember to leave that feather where you found it and take only the memory of this interesting experience with you!