Mountain BluebirdSialia currucoides

adult male
Arthur Morris/VIREO
adult female
Brian E. Small/VIREO
juvenile male
Laure W. Neish/VIREO
adult male
Glenn Bartley/VIREO
Mountain Bluebird

Family

Description

7" (18 cm). Male pure sky-blue above, paler blue below, with a white abdomen; female similar, but duller and grayer.

Voice

Soft warbling notes.

Listen

flight or dawn song
song #2
song #1
juvenile calls
wavered calls
calls at dusk
song & chik calls

Habitat

Breeds in high mountain meadows with scattered trees and bushes; in winter descends to lower elevations, where it occurs on plains and grasslands.

Range

Breeds from southern Alaska, Mackenzie, and Manitoba south to western Nebraska, New Mexico, Arizona, and southern California. Winters from British Columbia and Montana south through western United States.

Discussion

This species has longer wings and a more graceful, swallow-like flight than the Eastern Bluebird. Mountain Bluebirds usually travel in small parties. They frequently hover low over the ground and drop down to catch insects, or dart out from a branch, flycatcher fashion, and then return to another perch.

Nesting

5 or 6 pale blue eggs in a nest of grass and plant fibers built in a natural cavity or bird box.

Similar Species

adult

Townsend's Solitaire

8-9 1/2" (20-24 cm). A slender bird, resembling a mockingbird. Gray overall, unstreaked, slightly darker above, with thin white eye ring and white outer tail feathers; pale rusty wing patch.

adult male, breeding

Northern Wheatear

5 1/2-6" (14-15 cm). A very rare, sparrow-sized bird of open ground.

adult male

Western Bluebird

6-7" (15-18 cm). A long-winged, rather short-tailed bird. Male has deep blue hood and upperparts; rusty red breast and crescent mark across upper back; white belly.

adult male

Eastern Bluebird

7" (17 cm). Bright blue above and on wings and tail; rusty throat and breast; white belly and undertail coverts. Female similar, but duller.

adult male

Blue Grosbeak

6-7 1/2" (15-19 cm). Slightly larger than a House Sparrow. Male dark blue with 2 chestnut wing bars and a stout, dark bill. Female dark buff-brown with 2 buff wing bars.

Vireo

iPad Promo