‘Flying rainbow’ draws bird watchers to Vermont

In this March 18, 2016 photo provided by the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, a rare painted bunting sits on a fence in Pittsfield, Vt. (AP)

PITTSFIELD, Vt. (AP) — A rare bird described as a “flying rainbow” that normally doesn’t fly north of the Carolinas on the East Coast has turned up in a small town in Vermont, drawing hundreds of bird watchers to Pittsfield hoping to catch a glimpse of the painted bunting.

A conservation biologist with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies says it’s the sixth time since 1993 a painted bunting has been recorded in Vermont. Kent McFarland says the species is known for shooting northward at odd times but says it’s hard to say why.

He photographed the rainbow-colored bird in a yard Friday and says the bird really sticks out in Vermont’s early spring brown landscape.

Painting buntings have turned up in New York and Maine in the last six months.