• Skip to Content
  • Skip to Main Navigation
  • Skip to Local Navigation
  • Skip to Search
  • Skip to Sitemap
  • Skip to Footer
Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Bluethroat

Luscinia svecica ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: MUSCICAPIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A small, brightly colored bird of the far north, the Bluethroat is found in North America only on the tundra of Alaska and the Yukon Territory. It is common, however, across Europe and Asia where it is not restricted to tundra habitat.

Winter 13-14 CampaignSponsored Ad
Drink Birds & Beans coffee. Save our birds.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
5.5 in
14 cm
Weight
0.5–0.8 oz
15–22 g
Other Names
  • Gorgebleue à miroir (French)
  • Pechiazul común (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • Male Bluethroats from Alaska to northern Europe have red centers to the blue throat. Those in central and southern Europe have white throat centers or entirely blue throats.
  • The Bluethroat is one of the handful of birds that breed in North America and winter in Asia. Exactly where the American birds go in winter is unknown.
  • The male Bluethroat is quite striking with its blue and red throat and its flashing reddish tail. However, it normally is very secretive and hard to see as it skulks through thick vegetation. It is easy to see only while it is singing or performing flight displays. When seen in the open, it often jerks or holds its tail up and quickly fans it open to flash the rufous patches at the base.

Habitat


Mountains

Breeds in low scrub thickets along streams in tundra. Winters in thick cover near water.

Food


Insects

Insects; some seeds and fruits in fall and winter.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
5–7 eggs
Egg Description
Blue or bluish green with fine reddish speckling.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless, with eyes closed, and with long gray down.
Nest Description

Cup of woven sedges, grasses, rootlets, and fine twigs, lined with hair. Placed on ground in thicket or clump of grass.

Nest Placement

Ground

Behavior


Ground Forager

Gleans insects from low vegetation and ground, turns over leaves and soil, and hawks flying insects.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

No information on population trends in Alaska or Yukon. Not considered threatened.

Credits

  • Guzy, M. J., and B. J. McCaffery. 2002. Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica). In The Birds of North America, No. 670 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Range Map Help

Bluethroat Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings