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Merlin Bird ID

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    Western Bluebird

    Silhouette ThrushesThrushes

    Western Bluebird

    Sialia mexicana
    • ORDER: Passeriformes
    • FAMILY: Turdidae
    Basic Description

    In open parklands of the American West, brilliant blue-and-rust Western Bluebirds sit on low perches and swoop lightly to the ground to catch insects. Deep blue, rusty, and white, males are considerably brighter than the gray-brown, blue-tinged females. This small thrush nests in holes in trees or nest boxes and often gathers in small flocks to feed on insects or berries, giving their quiet, chortling calls. You can help out Western Bluebirds by placing nest boxes in your yard or park.

    More ID Info
    image of range map for Western BluebirdRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

    Find This Bird

    Look for Western Bluebirds on low perches in woodlands and woodland edges. Also scan for them sitting atop nest boxes or fenceposts in summer. Their habit of dropping suddenly to the ground after insects can be recognizable even out of the corner of your eye. Their quiet, inquisitive call notes are easy to overlook, but distinctive once learned.

    Other Names
    • Azulejo Garganta Azul (Spanish)
    • Merlebleu de l'Ouest (French)

    Backyard Tips

    Western Bluebirds are mainly insectivorous in the summer and they can be attracted to feeders if you offer mealworms. Find out more about feeding mealworms to backyard birds on All About Birds.

    You can also invite bluebirds to a partially wooded yard by putting up nest boxes. Make sure you put up a nest box well before breeding season. Attach a guard to keep predators from raiding eggs and young. Find out more about nest boxes on All About Birdhouses, where you'll find plans for building a nest box of the appropriate size for Western Bluebirds.

    • Cool Facts