Boreal Birds
300+ species, billions of birds rely on Canada's boreal forest as critical breeding grounds
© Elaine R. Wilson/Wikimedia Commons (CC 2.5)

Mountain Bluebird, male

Mountain Bluebird
Sialia currucoides
Perching Birds | Family: Thrushes, Turdidae

An estimated 6% of the species' North American population breeds within the Boreal Forest.

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Overview

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.  The Mountain Bluebird is also the state bird of Idaho and Nevada.

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.

Nesting

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

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/Migration

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.