blue-colored-birds

16 Blue Colored Birds With Names and Images

Blue Colored birds evoke a sense of tranquility and wonder. Their striking plumage, ranging from the deepest sapphire to the palest sky blue, captivates birdwatchers worldwide. In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of blue-colored birds, exploring their unique characteristics, habitats, and behaviors.

Types of Blue Colored Birds

1. Blue Grosbeak

Blue Grosbeak

Table of Contents

The Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea) is a medium-sized North American passerine bird belonging to the cardinal family (Cardinalidae). Here are some fascinating details about this striking blue bunting:

Appearance:

    • Male: The male Blue Grosbeak is a vision of vibrant blue. His plumage features a deep azure hue across his body, with two distinct chestnut wing bars adding contrast. His most remarkable feature is his enormous silver bill.
    • Female: The female Blue Grosbeak is cinnamon-colored, with more subdued tones. She lacks the intense blue of the male but shares the chestnut wing bars.

Habitat and Range:

    • Blue Grosbeaks are mainly migratory, wintering in Central America and breeding in northern Mexico and the southern United States.
    • They inhabit shrubby habitats, including untended fields, roadsides, and bushy areas.

Behavior and Song:

    • The male Blue colored Grosbeak birds is an accomplished singer. He delivers a rich, warbling song from trees and roadside wires.
    • Interestingly, Blue Grosbeaks often raise two broods of nestlings in a single breeding season, demonstrating their dedication to parenting.

Distribution:

    • While widespread, Blue Grosbeaks are not abundant across the southern U.S.
    • They are gradually expanding their range.

2. Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

The Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) is a migratory thrush found in the mountainous regions of western North America. Let’s explore this stunning bluebird:

Appearance:

    • Male: The male Mountain Bluebird is a vision of bright turquoise-blue above, with a somewhat lighter blue underneath. His white lower belly adds contrast. His most striking feature is his enormous silver bill.
    • Female: The female Mountain Bluebird has duller blue wings and tail, along with a grey breast, crown, throat, and back. In fresh fall plumage, her throat and breast may be tinged with red-orange, contrasting with white tail underparts.

Habitat and Range:

    • Mountain Bluebirds breed in open country across western North America, including mountainous areas, as far north as Alaska.
    • They are migratory, generally migrating south to Mexico in winter and north into western Canada and even Alaska in summer.
    • Depending on the time of year, they may be ubiquitous in mountain environments like grasslands or landscapes of sagebrush.

Behavior and Diet:

    • Mountain Bluebirds are omnivores, living 6 to 10 years in the wild.
    • Their diet includes spiders, grasshoppers, flies, other insects, and small fruits.
    • They are closely related to the Eastern and Western Bluebirds.

State Bird:

    • The Mountain Blue colored birds holds the honor of being the state bird of Idaho and Nevada.

3. Bluebirds

Bluebirds

Bluebirds are a captivating group of medium-sized birds found in North America. Their striking plumage, predominantly blue or blue with rose beige accents, makes them stand out against the natural landscape. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of bluebirds:

Genus and Species:

    • Bluebirds belong to the genus Sialia within the thrush family (Turdidae).
    • The genus contains three species:
      • Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides):
        • Found in western North America, including mountainous regions.
        • Males exhibit bright turquoise-blue plumage, while females have duller tones.
        • They are skilled aerial foragers, feeding on insects and small fruits.
      • Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana):
        • Inhabits California, the southern Rocky Mountains, Arizona, and New Mexico in the United States.
        • Their plumage combines blue with rose beige accents.
        • They are known for their melodious songs.
      • Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis):
        • Ranges from east-central southern Canada to the U.S. Gulf states and southeastern Arizona to Nicaragua.
        • Both males and females display azure plumage with reddish-brown breasts.
        • Eastern Bluebirds readily adapt to suburban areas and nest in cavities or provided nest boxes.

Behavior and Nesting:

    • Bluebirds are territorial and prefer open grasslands with scattered trees.
    • They can produce between two and four broods during spring and summer.
    • Males attract potential mates by displaying special behaviors, such as singing and wing-flapping.
    • Females build nests and incubate eggs alone.
    • Predators include snakes, cats, and raccoons.

Diet:

    • Bluebirds feed on insects, berries, and other small prey.
    • They are attracted to platform feeders with grubs of the darkling beetle (commonly sold as mealworms).

Conservation:

    • Bluebirds face competition from species like the common starling, American crow, and house sparrow.
    • Providing nest boxes and protecting their habitats are essential for their survival.

4. Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting

The Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea) is a small seed-eating bird in the cardinal family, Cardinalidae. Here are some fascinating details about this striking blue bunting:

Appearance:

    • Male: The male Indigo Bunting is a true gem of the avian world. During the breeding season, he dons a vibrant all-blue plumage, resembling a scrap of sky with wings. His azure feathers shimmer in the sunlight, making him a delightful sight.
    • Female: The female Indigo Bunting, in contrast, maintains a more subdued appearance. She is brown year-round, lacking the striking blue hues of her male counterpart.

Habitat and Range:

    • Indigo Buntings are migratory, covering a vast range from southern Canada to northern Florida during the breeding season.
    • In winter, they migrate southward, reaching as far as northern South America.
    • These skilled navigators often migrate by night, using the stars as their celestial compass.

Preferred Habitats:

    • You can find Indigo Buntings in a variety of habitats:
      • Farmland: They thrive in open fields and agricultural landscapes.
      • Brush Areas: These birds frequent shrubby habitats.
      • Open Woodland: They also inhabit woodland edges and clearings.

Breeding Behavior:

    • The male Indigo Bunting sings with cheerful gusto, filling the air with bouncy melodies during late spring and summer.
    • His vibrant plumage plays a crucial role in attracting a mate.
    • Nest-building and incubation duties are solely handled by the female.

Diet:

    • During the summer months, Indigo Buntings primarily feed on insects.
    • In winter, their diet shifts to seeds.

Taxonomy:

    • The Indigo Bunting belongs to the family Cardinalidae.
    • It is one of seven birds in the genus Passerina.
    • The species name, cyanea, is derived from the Latin word for cyan, representing the male’s brilliant breeding plumage.

5. Blue Jay

Blue Jay

The Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) is a striking passerine bird native to eastern North America. Let’s explore this charismatic avian neighbor:

Appearance:

    • Male: The male Blue Jay boasts a predominantly blue plumage, with a white chest and underparts. His most distinctive feature is the blue crest atop his head. Additionally, he sports a black, U-shaped collar around his neck and a black border behind the crest.
    • Female: The female Blue Jay shares a similar appearance with the male, exhibiting the same blue and white coloration. Plumage remains consistent throughout the year.

Habitat and Range:

    • Blue Jays inhabit both deciduous and coniferous forests across most of the eastern and central United States.
    • Some populations may be migratory, while others are resident.
    • Breeding populations extend into southern Canada, including Newfoundland.

Behavior and Diet:

    • Blue Jays are omnivorous:
      • They feed on seeds, nuts (such as acorns), and soft fruits.
      • Arthropods and occasional small vertebrates also make it onto their menu.
    • These birds are skilled at gleaning food from trees, shrubs, and the ground.
    • They sometimes hawk insects from the air.

Social Nature:

    • Blue Jays can be aggressive toward other birds.
    • They are known to raid nests and have even been observed decapitating other birds.
    • Their name “Jay” reflects their noisy and garrulous behavior.
    • Jays are also affectionately called “jaybirds”.

Nesting and Family Life:

    • Blue Jays build open-cup nests in tree branches.
    • Both males and females participate in nest-building.
    • Clutches typically consist of two to seven eggs, which are blueish or light brown with darker spots.
    • Young Blue Jays are altricial, and the female broods them for 8–12 days after hatching.

6. Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

The Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) is a migratory bird belonging to the family Hirundinidae. Here are some fascinating details about this aerial acrobat:

Appearance:

    • Male: Tree Swallows exhibit glossy blue-green upperparts, with a contrasting blackish wings and tail. Their underparts are pure white.
    • Female: The female Tree Swallow is generally duller than the male, with mostly brown upperparts and some blue feathers.

Habitat and Range:

    • Tree Swallows breed in the US and Canada.
    • They winter along the southern US coasts, extending to the West Indies and the northwestern coast of South America.

Nesting Behavior:

    • Tree Swallows nest either in isolated pairs or loose groups.
    • Breeding can start as early as May and end as late as July.
    • They are socially monogamous, but about 8% of males are polygynous.
    • The female incubates a clutch of two to eight pure white eggs for around 14 to 15 days.
    • Chicks hatch slightly asynchronously, allowing the female to prioritize feeding during food shortages.

Foraging and Diet:

    • Tree Swallows are aerial insectivores.
    • They forage both alone and in groups, primarily eating insects, mollusks, spiders, and fruit.
    • Nestlings are fed insects by both parents.

Research Model:

    • Due to the extensive research conducted on them, Tree Swallows are sometimes considered a model organism.
    • They provide insights into social behavior and parasitic interactions.

7. Northern Parula

Northern Parula

The Northern Parula (Setophaga americana) is a tiny, plump wood warbler, often being one of the smallest birds in a mixed feeding flock. Let’s explore more about this delightful avian species:

Appearance:

    • Size: The Northern Parula measures approximately 10.8 to 12.4 centimeters (4.3 to 4.9 inches) in length.
    • Plumage: This warbler showcases a bluish-gray back with a yellow-green patch on its back. Its white eye crescents and a distinctive chestnut breast band set it apart from other warblers.

Habitat and Range:

    • The Northern Parula flutters at the edges of branches, plucking insects.
    • It breeds in forests laden with Spanish moss or beard lichens, spanning from Florida to the boreal forest.
    • This little bird is sure to give you “warbler neck” as you crane your head to catch a glimpse of it high in the canopy.

Song and Behavior:

    • The male Northern Parula delivers a rising buzzy trill that pinches off at the end.
    • It hops through branches, constantly foraging for insects.
    • Despite its small size, its vibrant plumage and lively behavior make it a joy to observe.

8. Lazuli Bunting

Lazuli Bunting

The Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena) is a delightful North American songbird, named after the gemstone lapis lazuli. Let’s explore its fascinating features:

Appearance:

    • Male:
      • Easily recognized by its bright blue head and back (lighter than the closely related indigo bunting).
      • Conspicuous white wingbars.
      • Light rusty breast and white belly.
    • Female:
      • Brown and grayer above, warmer underneath.
      • Distinguished from the female indigo bunting by two thin and pale wingbars.

Size and Measurements:

    • Length: 5.1-5.9 inches (13-15 cm)
    • Weight: 0.5-0.6 ounces (13-18 g)
    • Wingspan: 8.7 inches (22 cm)

Habitat and Range:

    • Breeds mostly west of the 100th meridian:
      • From southern Canada to northern Texas.
      • Central New Mexico and Arizona.
      • Southern California.
    • Breeding range extends south to extreme northwestern Baja California on the Pacific coast.
    • Migrates to southeastern Arizona and Mexico.
    • Prefers brushy areas and sometimes weedy pastures, generally well-watered.

Diet:

    • Lazuli Buntings primarily eat seeds and insects.
    • They may feed conspicuously on the ground or in bushes, but singing males are often elusive in treetops.

Breeding Behavior:

    • Constructs a loose cup nest of grasses and rootlets placed in a bush.
    • Lays three or four pale blue eggs.
    • In the eastern and southern parts of its range, it often hybridizes with the indigo bunting.

9. Steller’s Jay

Steller’s Jay

The Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) is a striking bird native to western North America and the mountains of Central America. Let’s delve into its fascinating features:

Appearance:

    • Size: Steller’s Jays measure approximately 12 to 13 inches (30-34 cm) in length.
    • Plumage: These jays exhibit regional variation:
      • Their blackish-brown heads become bluer-headed farther south.
      • The head color ranges from black to dark blue, depending on the subspecies.
      • They have a more pronounced crest in northern populations.
      • Their slender bill and longer legs distinguish them from the blue jay.
      • The overall size is somewhat larger than the blue jay.

Habitat and Range:

    • Steller’s Jays inhabit pine-oak and coniferous forests.
    • Their range extends from south Alaska and coastal western Canada to northwest Oregon (northwest USA).
    • They are also found in regions such as Haida Gwaii (off-west Canada), central Oregoneast California, and central west Nevada.

Behavior and Ecology:

    • Steller’s Jays are known for their fearless behavior.
    • They have a distinctive blue crest atop their heads.
    • Adults along the Pacific Coast display blue streaks on their black crests.
    • These jays are named after Georg Wilhelm Steller, the first European to record them in 1741.

10. California Scrub-Jay

California Scrub-Jay

The California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) is a captivating species of scrub jay native to western North America. Let’s explore its fascinating characteristics:

Appearance:

    • Size: The California Scrub-Jay is a medium-sized bird, measuring approximately 27–31 cm (11–12 in) in length, including its tail.
    • Plumage: This species boasts a striking combination of colors:
      • Blue head, wings, and tail.
      • Gray-brown back.
      • Grayish underparts.
      • White eyebrows.
      • blue necklace on the throat.

Habitat and Range:

    • True to its name, the California Scrub-Jay inhabits areas of low scrub.
    • Preferred habitats include:
      • Piñon-juniper forests.
      • Oak woods.
      • Edges of mixed evergreen forests.
      • It also adapts to suburban gardens.
    • Its range extends from southern British Columbia throughout California and western Nevada near Reno to west of the Sierra Nevada.

Foraging Behavior:

    • California Scrub-Jays usually forage in pairs, family groups, or small non-kin groups outside of the breeding season.
    • Their diet includes:
      • Small animals such as frogs and lizards.
      • Eggs and young of other birds.
      • Insects.
      • Particularly in winter, they consume grains, nuts, and berries.
      • They also enjoy fruit and vegetables growing in backyards.

Food Storing:

    • Like many other corvids, California Scrub-Jays exploit ephemeral surpluses by storing food in scattered caches within their territories.
    • They rely on highly accurate and complex memories to recover hidden caches, even after long periods of time.
    • These intelligent blue colored birds plan ahead by choosing cache sites that provide adequate food volume and variety for the future.
    • They can also rely on their observational spatial memories to steal food from caches made by conspecifics.

11. Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron

The California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica) is a captivating species of scrub jay native to western North America. Let’s explore its fascinating characteristics:

Appearan3ce:

    • Size: The California Scrub-Jay is a medium-sized bird, measuring approximately 27–31 cm (11–12 in) in length, including its tail.
    • Plumage: This species boasts a striking combination of colors:
      • Blue head, wings, and tail.
      • Gray-brown back.
      • Grayish underparts.
      • White eyebrows.
      • blue necklace on the throat.

Habitat and Range:

    • True to its name, the California Scrub-Jay inhabits areas of low scrub.
    • Preferred habitats include:
      • Piñon-juniper forests.
      • Oak woods.
      • Edges of mixed evergreen forests.
      • It also adapts to suburban gardens.
    • Its range extends from southern British Columbia throughout California and western Nevada near Reno to west of the Sierra Nevada.

Foraging Behavior:

    • California Scrub-Jays usually forage in pairs, family groups, or small non-kin groups outside of the breeding season.
    • Their diet includes:
      • Small animals such as frogs and lizards.
      • Eggs and young of other birds.
      • Insects.
      • Particularly in winter, they consume grains, nuts, and berries.
      • They also enjoy fruit and vegetables growing in backyards.

Food Storing:

    • Like many other corvids, California Scrub-Jays exploit ephemeral surpluses by storing food in scattered caches within their territories.
    • They rely on highly accurate and complex memories to recover hidden caches, even after long periods of time.
    • These intelligent birds plan ahead by choosing cache sites that provide adequate food volume and variety for the future.
    • They can also rely on their observational spatial memories to steal food from caches made by conspecifics.

12. Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher

The Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) is a large, conspicuous water kingfisher native to North America. Let’s dive into its fascinating features:

Appearance:

    • Size: The Belted Kingfisher measures approximately 28–35 cm (11–14 in) in length, with a wingspan of 48–58 cm (19–23 in).
    • Plumage: This stocky bird has a slate-blue head, large white collar, and a striking blue band across the breast. Its back and wings are also slate blue with black feather tips adorned with white dots. The female features a rufous band across the upper belly that extends down the flanks.

Habitat and Range:

    • The Belted Kingfisher’s breeding habitat includes inland bodies of water and coastal areas across most of North America, spanning Canada, Alaska, and the United States.
    • In winter, they migrate from the northern parts of their range to the southern United States, Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies.
    • They are rare visitors to northern areas of Colombia, Venezuela, and the Guianas.

Behavior and Diet:

    • These kingfishers are skilled at hovering before plunging into the water to catch fish.
    • Their diet includes small fish, crustaceans, and aquatic insects.
    • They nest in burrows dug into earthen banks near water.

Conservation:

    • The Belted Kingfisher is currently classified as Least Concern by the IUCN.
    • Conservation efforts focus on preserving their wetland habitats.

13. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea) is a tiny, long-tailed songbird found in North America. Let’s explore its intriguing characteristics:

Appearance:

    • Size: Measuring around 10–13 cm (3.9–5.1 inches) in length, it’s a petite bird.
    • Plumage: The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher lives up to its name:
      • Its upperparts are a soft blue-gray.
      • The white eyering around its eyes is a distinctive feature.
      • It has a thin, straight bill for capturing insects.

Habitat and Behavior:

    • These blue colored birds is often seen hopping and sidling through dense outer foliage.
    • It forages actively for insects and spiders.
    • As it moves, the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher conspicuously flicks its white-edged tail from side to side, scaring up insects and chasing after them.

Nesting:

    • Pairs of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers use spiderwebs and lichens to build small, neat nests.
    • These nests sit on top of branches and often resemble tree knots.

14. Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

The Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) is the most widespread species of swallow in the world. Its natural distribution covers an impressive 251 million square kilometers globally. Here are some fascinating details about this agile and elegant bird:

Appearance:

    • Male:
      • Measures around 17–19 cm (6½–7½ inches) in length, including elongated outer tail feathers.
      • Steel blue upperparts.
      • Rufous forehead, chin, and throat separated from off-white underparts by a broad dark blue breast band.
      • Distinctive deeply forked “swallow tail.”
    • Female:
      • female blue-colored birds are Similar in appearance to the male but with shorter tail streamers.
      • Less glossy blue on upperparts and breast band.
      • Paler underparts.

Habitat and Behavior:

    • Barn Swallows are found in open country and near water.
    • They build cup-shaped mud nests in barns, bridges, and other human-made structures.
    • Their insect-eating habits make them tolerated by humans.
    • Cultural references abound due to their close association with people and annual migration.

Conservation:

    • Not endangered due to their huge range.
    • Local population declines may occur due to specific threats.

15. Black-throated Blue Warbler

Black-throated Blue Warbler

The Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens) is a small passerine bird belonging to the New World warbler family. Let’s explore its fascinating features:

Appearance:

    • Male:
      • The adult male has a black face and cheeks, deep blue upperparts, and white underparts.
      • His striking plumage includes a bold black throat and a distinctive white wing patch.
    • Female:
      • The female is olive-brown above and light yellow below.
      • She lacks the intense blue coloration of the male.

Habitat and Range:

    • Breeding ranges of blue-colored birds are located in the interior of deciduous and mixed coniferous forests in eastern North America.
    • Over the cooler months, it migrates to islands in the Caribbean and Central America.
    • Rarely found in Western Europe, where it is considered a non-indigenous species.

Behavior and Diet:

    • The Black-throated Blue Warbler is predominantly insectivorous.
    • It supplements its diet with berries and seeds in winter.
    • These blue colored warblers birds build their nests in thick shrubs, and their proximity to the ground makes them a favored species for studying warbler behavior in the wild.

Conservation:

    • As the Black-throated Blue Warbler requires large, unbroken forest areas for nesting, its numbers are declining.
    • Conservation efforts focus on preserving their wetland habitats.

16. Cerulean Warbler

Cerulean Warbler

The Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) is a small songbird in the family Parulidae. Here are some fascinating details about this delightful bird:

Appearance:

    • Size: The Cerulean Warbler measures around 10 to 12 centimeters (4 to 4.7 inches) in length.
    • Plumage:
      • The adult male is a brilliant sky-blue on its back and crown.
      • Its underparts are white, and it sports a distinctive cerulean neckband.
      • Females are equally well-dressed, wearing a dusky hue of blue-green.

Habitat and Range:

    • These long-distance migrants breed in mature eastern deciduous forests in North America.
    • During the non-breeding season, they spend winters in the Andes in South America, preferring subtropical forests.

Conservation:

    • Unfortunately, their populations have declined dramatically due to habitat loss.
    • Conservation efforts focus on preserving their wetland habitats.

FAQs About Blue Colored Birds

Q1: Is Blue Bird a color?

There is no such thing as blue-colored birds in terms of pigments. Unlike red and yellow feathers, which get their color from actual pigments called carotenoids found in the foods birds eat, blue is different. No bird species can make blue from pigments. The color blue that we see on a bird is created by the way light waves interact with the feathers and their arrangement of protein molecules, called keratin. In other words, blue is a structural color.

Q2: What is a bluebird blue?

Blue colored birds are not truly blue due to pigments. Instead, their plumage appears blue through light scattering. The male bluebird displays bright blue plumage on its back and orange coloration on its chest. The female bluebird is generally duller and paler, lacking the red wing patch.

Q3: Which bird is called the smiling bird?

The Superb Bird-of-Paradise displays a remarkable transformation during courtship. Females see a jet-black disk with an electric-blue “smiley face” pattern. Modified feathers on the head, back, and flank combine to create this spectacular effect.

Q4: What is a turquoise bird?

The Turquoise Parrot (Neophema pulchella) is a small parrot native to Eastern Australia. Males have bright green upperparts and a bright turquoise blue face, while females are generally duller with a pale green breast and yellow belly.

Q5: Is there a blue swallow bird?

Yes! The Blue Swallow (Hirundo atrocaerulea) is a small bird found in Africa. It exhibits sexual dimorphism, with males having a highly lustrous dark metallic steel-blue appearance and long tail streamers. Females lack the red wing patch.

Q6: What color is a good luck bird?

While specific bird colors associated with luck vary across cultures, in general, bluebirds and swallows are often considered symbols of good luck and happiness.

Q7: What is the benefit of bluebirds?

Blue-colored birds play a crucial role in ecosystems by controlling insect populations. They feed on small, soft-bodied flies and other arthropods, catching them on the wing. Additionally, their presence adds beauty and joy to our surroundings.

John William

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