What Does a Bluebird Look Like

Do you want to know what a bluebird looks like? I’m going to suppose that you’re having trouble recognizing a bird in your backyard.

Believe it or not, even experienced birdwatchers struggle to identify the precise bird they have seen. Let’s face it, you may easily become preoccupied with it and allow it to sour your experience of birding.

Learn everything you can about popular bird species, such as the bluebird, to get the hang of it. You’ll improve your ability to identify birds in this method. It truly is that easy.

And this book will teach you all you need to know about recognizing the eastern bluebird, which is the most prevalent backyard species.

Well, this is absolutely doable, and I’ll teach you how to achieve it in this article.

You don’t have to be an expert to follow along, so don’t stress about that.

I’ll demonstrate for you how to recognize several bluebird species as well as their arrival signals in your yard. You won’t have to doubt your ability to identify a bluebird once you do!

What is a Bluebird?

Although there are several blue-colored birds in North America, not all birds are bluebirds.

Blue-clad birds like Cerulean Warblers, Scrub Jays, Blue Jays, Great Blue Herons, Blue Grosbeaks, and others look gorgeous. Bluebirds are the only species, nevertheless, whose common or official name is “bluebird.”

Bluebirds belong to the same family as thrushes including the Varied Thrush, Wood Thrush, and Veery, as well as American Robins and other thrushes.

Listen to the distinctive sound that each member of the thrush family makes. It’s wonderful to hear their flute-like tunes at any time!

Color Pattern

The neck and breast of male Eastern Bluebirds are rusty or brick red, while the top is a striking, deep blue color. Blue in birds is always dependent on lighting, and males can seem plain gray-brown up close. Females have a modest orange-brown breast and grey upper parts with bluish wings and tail.

What Do Male and Female Western Bluebirds Look Like?

While western and eastern bluebirds have a similar appearance, there are some variances. The male’s blue back typically has a rusty brown patch in the middle, and his neck is also blue. The lower tummy is not white; it is gray. Western bluebird females resemble males, but the blue has been mostly replaced by gray.

The distinction between a bluebird and a blue jay is explained here.

Near Ellensburg, Washington, I noticed this western bluebird (shown above) flying. I’ve been taking photographs of birds for a while, and images like this make it fun for me. – Thomas Tully, a reader of Birds & Blooms

Awe at these 20 breathtaking images of bluebirds, then exclaim “awwwwww!” at these precious shots of baby bluebirds.

When to See Bluebirds

Bluebirds are migratory birds that spend the entire year in the more hospitable parts of the United States and northern Mexico.

For the summer, their range extends into northern America and Canada, and in the winter, they travel south to warmer climates.

In the summer, you may see the Mountain Bluebird as far north as Alaska!

Migration generally begins in the north in March and resumes in the south in August, however exact timing varies from year to year depending on the weather that season.

Bluebird migration is a great time to observe them. Although they form big mixed groups when migrating north or south for safety and food hunting, they are territorial birds during the breeding season.

How can you identify a female bluebird from a male?

When she is close to a male eastern bluebird, it is rather simple to identify the female. When a woman is alone, she must pay close attention to the little things.

The intensity of the color is the primary distinction between a female and male eastern bluebird. The top of the head, back, wings, and tail of the males have a vivid deep blue color. Brick-red is the color of the throat, sides of the neck, breast, and upper belly. The white color of the belly’s core.

Eastern bluebirds, male (right) and female (left). Patricia Pierce is shown.
Bluebird females have a similar color pattern, although it is more muted. Instead of the vivid blue of the male, the top of the head and back are gray to bluish-gray.

Warm brown can be seen on the throat, sides of the neck, breast, upper abdomen, and flanks. Blue feathers may be seen on the tail, shoulders, and main wing feathers when the wings are folded.

Eastern bluebird males and females are almost the same size, with females being a little heavier. For the majority of birds, this variation might not be apparent in the wild.

Bluebird Habitat: Where to See Bluebirds

Bluebirds prefer open areas with grass that is short enough for them to look for insects and has many of perches.

They prefer more open woods or semi-treed grasslands since too many trees will block their view of prime eating locations.

Some of their favored environments are oak trees, as well as farms, parks, and vineyards.

Fun fact: To promote bluebird nesting, more wineries are beginning to place bluebird boxes around their harvests. Bluebirds serve as a natural pest management by preferring to consume the insects that are close to the valuable fruits.

Observe them for their recognizable blue hue and singing, of course. Alternately, pay attention to the unique flying techniques bluebirds employ to obtain food.

Bluebirds execute a maneuver known as “ground sallying,” in which they descend from a perch to forage on the ground before returning to their perch.

Along with this, they fly around in midair while vigorously flapping their wings before sliding to the ground to eat.

Nest and Eggs Bluebird

Western bluebirds are cavity nesters, just as mountain bluebirds. Once a good location is located, they look for an existing tree hollow, and the female gathers grasses, plant fibers, and other soft materials to construct the nest.

Western bluebirds lay between 2 and 8 eggs in a normal clutch, and they have one to three nesting seasons. If they are accessible, western bluebirds may also select bluebird nest boxes. Here’s how to construct a bluebird home yourself.

Given that bluebirds and robins are related, it is not surprising that youngsters and adults have varied appearances. Western bluebird young have speckled backs that mirror their belly markings. Their wings and tails’ blue hue also aids in identifying them.

Here is what a bluebird implies if you see one.

Western bluebirds are less interested in monogamy than other birds, who pair up for the breeding or nesting season. Researchers found that 19% of all chicks were not the defending male’s and that 45% of nests had offspring that were not fathered by the male that protected the nest.

When I noticed so many young western bluebirds, I was really happy (above). It was the first time I had ever seen a bluebird couple, which I had one year. The next year, they returned with their third and biggest group yet. – Cyndi Seybold, a reader of Birds & Blooms

What Does A Baby Bluebird Look Like?

Depending on the age of the baby bluebirds you’re considering,

A hatchling will have a golden beak and be bald, however they are frequently pink with gray spots.

A bluebird nestling will mostly be a dark, fluffy grey. The blue tip on their wings immediately begins to form. This will become apparent when they are 5-7 days old.

A fledgling bluebird (about 3 weeks old) resembles a female bluebird quite a bit. Their wings are mostly grey with blue tips.

A young bluebird has pretty obvious white patches on its wings and breast that set it apart from an adult female.

What types of bluebirds can you find in the United States?

One of the most well-liked birds in the United States, bluebirds have long held people’s interest and attention. These little birds belong to the thrush family and are recognized by their stunning blue coloring (Turdidae).

It’s also surprisingly difficult to convince bluebirds to visit bird feeders, despite the fact that everyone WANTES to attract them to their backyard. But don’t worry, if you read on, you’ll discover some tried-and-true advice you can use right away!

Western Bluebird

The southern Rocky Mountains, Arizona, California, and New Mexico are all home to the little Western Bluebird. This bird favors open woods, fields, backyards, and burnt regions in addition to coniferous and deciduous forests.

The Western Bluebird and the Eastern Bluebird are quite similar. It’s difficult to distinguish between their body’s blue and orange colour. Both have blue heads and wings that extend to the end. Additionally, they often range in length from 16 to 20 cm.

It may be quite challenging to tell the Western Bluebird from the Eastern Bluebird. They are both identical in length and color. However, the orange hue on the western Bluebird is more vivid than on the eastern one.

Western Bluebird females have white lower bodies, whereas eastern females have ash bottom bodies. Additionally, unlike the eastern Bluebird, the western Bluebird’s blue coloring covers the head, throat, and neck.

Eastern Bluebird

The Eastern Bluebird is one of the most attractive birds. These birds are usually a delight to watch for birders and non-birders alike because of their upbeat nature and stunning beauty!

Males are quite simple to recognize because of their vivid blue color and red chest and neck. Females have a similar appearance, but their colors are more softer.

In addition to Christmas tree farms, look for them in meadows, fields, cemeteries, golf courses, parks, and backyards.

These birds’ main food varies with the seasons. Their main food source during the warmer months is insects gathered on the ground, such beetles, crickets, and spiders. In the winter, when bugs are scarce, they adapt to eating fruit and berries that grow on trees.

Mountain Bluebird

The Mountain Bluebird is a resident of Western North America, from Alaska to the mountainous region. It is a migratory bird that like grasslands, sagebrush, and locations with dispersed trees.

The heads of both eastern and mountain bluebirds are rounded and colored blue all over. Both species’ average sizes are pretty close. Their lower bodies are a lighter blue than their upper bodies, which are both darker. The size and shape of the bill are also the same.

Despite the fact that these two species are related, there are some clear distinctions between them. On the neck and breast of the eastern bluebird, a distinct red hue may be seen. The mountain bluebird, on the other hand, is mostly blue.

Compared to the mountain bluebird, the striking blue hue of the eastern Bluebird is darker. Despite having similar average lengths, the eastern Bluebird can grow longer than the mountain bluebird.

Is there an age-related color variation in bluebirds?

Eastern bluebird juveniles hatched in the spring and summer have a quite unique gray plumage that is eventually replaced by the adult plumage by the end of the fall.

Overall, baby bluebirds and older ones have relatively similar appearances. First-year birds, on the other hand, are often duller and more grey than older birds since they have only begun to develop their adult plumage.

There is no age-related plumage change after the second year. When bluebirds grow their new plumage each year, some may be bluer than others owing to environmental factors.

Can You Confuse Other Birds with Bluebirds?

Buntings and swallows, which frequently resemble bluebirds in size, are the most frequent birds that people mistake for bluebirds.

Both Indigo and Lazuli buntings have gorgeous blue colors. Even more so than bluebirds, lazuli buntings have rather buffy, or orange, breasts. But their stronger beak reveals they belong to a different family of birds entirely.

The head, wings, and back of swallows, particularly the Tree Swallow, are iridescent blue. These birds tend to nest in environments similar to those used by bluebirds and also like to nest in cavities.

They clearly do not belong in the thrush family based on their form both while perched and when flying through the air. They also have a lot of white on their belly and breast, whereas bluebirds do not have a lot of.

Lazuli Bunting

 

Lazuli, which originates from southern Canada, central Mexico, northern Texas, southern California, and Arizona, is another member of the Bunting family. They favor brushy, weedy pastures with easy access to water.

The Lazuli Bunting shares the same dominant blue hue. Their red breast color also resembles that of the Eastern Bluebird. The skulls of both species are noticeably bigger.

On the Lazuli Bunting, the blue hue is more vivid than the eastern blue. The eastern Bluebird also has a broader blue hue. Lazuli Bunting’s belly is a more similar shade of white. Lazuli’s wings are white as well.

Compared to the Lazuli, the rusty hue is significantly broader on the eastern Bluebird. The Lazuli Bunting has a similar conical bill.

California Scrub-Jay

 

Western North America, including California, western Nevada, and southern British Columbia, are the natural habitats of the California Scrub-Jay. It favors cities and frequents the birdfeeder in your garden.

California Scrub-blue Jay’s coloration will make you think of Eastern Bluebird. Like the Eastern Bluebird, the tail and wings are likewise blue. Their bellies are either light blue or white.

You can tell a lot of distinctions between these two species. Greater in size than the Eastern Bluebird is the California Scrub-Jay. The Jay lacks the rusty hue of the eastern Bluebird.

Compared to bluebirds, the California Scrub-Jay has a significantly larger tail and beak. Additionally, the California Scrub-Jay has the same shade of white on its belly and breast.

Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay

 

Southeast Oregon, Central Mexico, and southern Idaho are the natural habitats of the Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay. The likes to live in low scrub, oak woodlands, pinon-juniper forests, and mixed evergreen forests.

The head, wings, and back of the Eastern Bluebird and Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay are all clearly blue in hue. The lower portions of each of them are pale in hue. Even though the Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay is physically bigger, they look the same.

Compared to the Scrub-Jay, the Eastern Bluebird’s blue hue is significantly brighter. Additionally, the Jay lacks the bluebird’s red hue. And in comparison to the Bluebird, the scrub-Jay is a bigger kind of bird. And unlike the Bluebird, the white hue on the belly and lower sections is different.