Western Bluebird

Sialia mexicana

Summary 4

The Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) is a small thrush. Males have bright blue backs and wings and rust-colored breast and back. Females tend to be paler gray on their bodies and pale orange on their chests.

Similar SpeciesWestern Scrub Jay - much larger bird with longer tails and no rust/orange coloration
Steller's Jay- also much larger bird, with longer tails, no rust/orange coloration and also has a tufted head.

Where on Campus? 5

Western bluebirds can be seen year-round on campus, feeding on the insects in and over the lawns. It is likely that they do nest on campus, though this has not been confirmed.

Habitat 5

Open woodlands and edges of woods. They need vegetation for perching and trees for nesting.

Life History Traits 5

Nesting Western bluebirds are cavity nesters (they will happily nest in nest boxes as well). They are apparently seasonally monogamous, though genetic studies indicate the young in a nest are not all from the same father. They have 1-3 broods/season.

Feeding Western bluebirds are insectivores in the summer, but also eat many different types of berries in the winter including poison oak, blackberries and elderberries.

Distribution 5

Western bluebirds can be found in SW Canada, Washington, Oregon, California (not in deserts) and in the SW US into NW Mexico

Migration 5

Our bluebirds are not migratory.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Jamie Chavez, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), http://www.flickr.com/photos/20709090@N00/2335261065
  2. (c) VivaVictoria, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/25643890
  3. (c) VivaVictoria, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://eol.org/data_objects/25643891
  4. Adapted by gillian360 from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sialia_mexicana
  5. (c) gillian360, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

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