Local Wildlife

Western Bluebird

Picture of Western Bluebird
Scientific Name: Sialia mexicana
Audio: Listen Now
Audio Source: Unknown
Addt'l Info: Univ. of Michigan

The colorful western bluebird features a sky-blue crown, throat, wings, and tail, a rust-colored breast and flanks, and blue-grey belly. The back may be partially or entirely blue. Females have a brownish gray head and back, light blue wings and tail, grayish white throat and belly and a pale rust breast.

Preferred habitats include open areas with scattered trees, orchards, and the edges of coniferous and deciduous forests. In Sunriver, they can be seen in many areas, but you are most likely to find them where the forest meets the Great Meadow. Look for them in the trees along this border, but especially in the large shrubs and small bushes nearby.

The western bluebird's diet is comprised of small invertebrates and various berries. Meals may include animals such as caterpillars, grasshoppers, beetles, ants, wasps, flies, and snails. Berries may include currants, grapes, elderberries, and mistletoe.

Nests are usually built in the natural cavities of snags or rotting trees, in the holes carved out by woodpeckers or flickers, or in nest boxes placed by humans. The nest itself is a loose collection of grasses, weed stems, and (sometimes) hair or feathers. Females may lay from three to eight eggs in a clutch. Both adults tend the young, feeding them mostly soft-bodied insects.