The Bluebirds of British Columbia

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Western Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

photo by Claude Rioux

photo by Claire Christensen

A small, plump thrush with a short tail and long pointed wings. Indigo blue head, wings, rump, and tail. Breast, sides, and variable patch on back are rusty brown.. The female is greyer, paler, but always has some rusty colour on breast. Juveniles are similar in colour to the female, but browner and heavily spotted.



Call: Musical tew.



Where to find: Fairly common migrant (February-April, September-November) and summer resident of open ponderosa pine forests and low-elevation forest edges north to Thompson Valley. Locally common in winter in south Okanagan around Russian olives and vineyards.



Behaviour: Captures insects using a variety of techniques; also feed on berries, especially in winter. Nests in natural cavities in trees, woodpecker holes and nestboxes.



Source: Birds of Interior BC and the Rockies, by Richard Cannings, Heritage House, 2009



Right::

female

Western

Bluebird

photo by

Harold

Sellers


The male Mountain Bluebird is a brilliant sky blue, with whitish belly and undertail. The female is light grey overall, with blue wings and tail. Juveniles are similar in colour to the female, but browner and heavily spotted.



Call: Low, soft phew. Alarm call: tack



Where to find: Common migrant (February-March, September-October) and summer resident in open areas ranging from valley grasslands to alpine meadows.



Behaviour: Captures insects using a variety of techniques; also feed on berries, especially in winter. Nests in natural cavities in trees, woodpecker holes and nestboxes.



Source: Birds of Interior BC and the Rockies, by Richard Cannings, Heritage House, 2009




Below: female Mountain Bluebird

photo by Claude Rioux