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Bluebirds of North America


Recognize the song? “Bluebirds, smiling at me – nothing but bluebirds do I see.”

Recognize the bird? Bluebird, the common name for a North American migratory bird of the family Turdidae (thrush family).

There’s a good chance if you are camping anywhere in the United States, you’ll spot this lovely specimen. There are three main species of bluebird – Eastern and Midwestern, Western, and Mountain. Both the Western and Mountain Bluebirds are found in Western North America. All species mature to approximately 7 inches (17.8 cm).

During the nesting period, from mid and late spring through mid summer, the birds are territorial; that is, they stake out an area and attempt to prevent entry of other bluebirds into their feeding and nesting area. At other times of the year the bluebirds can be seen in small flocks. As a destroyer of insects, Bluebirds are of great value. They also eat wild fruits.

Bluebirds are noted more for their beauty than their song. However, they have a cheerful “smiling” call and a sweet, faint twitter or warbling song.

Eastern and Midwestern Bluebird: The throat and breast of the male are reddish brown, the abdomen is white, and the upper parts are sky blue; the female is less brightly colored and duller (sorry ladies).

Western Bluebird: This bird has less reddish brown on the under parts and a brown patch on the back.

Mountain Bluebird: This bird is all blue.

Happy bluebird watching!


  1. The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition
  2. “Bluebird,” Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2000