16 Types of Blue Birds
Bluebirds are among the most colorful birds you’ll ever see. They’re also among the most popular species of bird feeders because they love suet and sunflower seeds. If you want to attract bluebirds to your yard, you’ve got plenty of options. You can buy a commercial feeder or build your own. You can even use natural materials like sticks and twigs.
1. Blue Grosbeak
The scientific name for the Blue Grosbeak is Passerina caerulescens. This bird belongs to the family Emberizidae. They make their homes in open areas such as meadows, prairies, and scrublands. In most cases, you’ll find them near shrubs and trees where they like to feed on insects and berries. Males and females look very similar except for the male’s bright blue plumage.
2. Mountain Bluebird
The male Mountain Bluebird is among the world’s brightest blue-colored birds, with a sky blue head and bright cerulean underbelly. Female mountain bluebirds, however, are drab, with almost no coloration at all. But there’s good news: female mountain bluebirds are far easier to spot than males.
Mountain bluebirds are omnivores, eating berries, insects, and even caterpillars. They nest in coniferous forests, preferring Douglas fir trees, but they’ll use whatever tree species is nearby.
This omnivore prefers to winter in warm climates, such as those found along the Pacific coast. During migration, it’s common to see mountain bluebirds flying over the Great Plains, heading north toward Canada.
3. Bluebirds (Eastern & Western)
Bluebirds are one of America’s most familiar birds, and they are also among our smallest songbirds. They are members of the corvid family, which includes crows, ravens, magpies, jays, nutcrackers, and New World blackbirds. While many people think of bluebirds as being native to North America, there are actually two subspecies of bluebird found throughout the world. In North America, we call the Eastern Bluebird, while in South America, we refer to it as the Western Bluebird.
The male Eastern Bluebird is mostly solid blue on top, with a bright red belly. On his head he sports a distinctive white cap, and his tail feathers are tipped with a yellow band. His breast is marked with bold black stripes, and along the sides of his body, he wears a long dark stripe. The female, on the other hand, is a drabber version of her mate. She is brown above and buffy below, and she lacks the bright markings of her partner.
The Western Bluebird, on the other hand is almost entirely colored gray, except for a bright orange patch just behind each eye. He also has a bright green bill, and a yellow area around his eyes. This species does not have a distinct breeding season, but it usually begins in late February and ends in early June.The Indigo Bunting is a small bird found across North America. Its scientific name is Passerina cyaneus. This bird is often called the “Indigo Bunting,” although that term is technically incorrect because there are no buntings. There are actually three different species of bunting that live in North America. They are the Carolina Bunting, the Common Yellow Bunting and the Indigo Bunting.
This beautiful little bird is usually seen near water. During the breeding season, male Indigo Buntings spend much of their time singing while perched high up in trees. When you see a male Indigo Bunting, he’s probably trying to attract a female. He sings his heart out, hoping to impress her. She’ll choose the best mate for life.
When looking for a nesting site, females prefer to build nests in tall grasses or bushes, such as those growing along roadsides. Although they don’t migrate far, Indigo Buntings travel hundreds of miles each spring and fall. In fact, some individuals make six long trips every year. These journeys cover thousands of miles.
During migration, Indigo Buntings fly over open fields, avoiding dense forests where predators might lurk. But even though they’re good flyers, they rarely go very fast. They tend to fly slowly and steadily, like a hummingbird.
To find Indigo Buntings, look for areas where they’ve been spotted recently. You might notice them flying overhead or sitting quietly in the grass. If you hear them sing, you know you’re close.
4. Indigo Bunting
Spot Indigo Buntings during spring migration season. They migrate from south Texas to Canada and then north into the Midwest and Northeast. During fall migration season, they head south again and stop in Florida.
5. Blue Jay
The scientific name for the Blue Jay is Cyanocitta cristata. This bird is one of North America’s most popular backyard birds. A Blue Jay’s distinctive song makes it easy to identify. Their calls include a high pitched whistle, a whistling trill, a low rumbling growl, and a melodious warble.
Blue Jays are very social animals. They form flocks called leks where males compete to attract females. Each male sings his best songs during courtship displays. Once the female accepts him, he begins singing again while she incubates her eggs. After the chicks hatch, the parents continue feeding them.
6. Tree Swallow
The Tree Swallow is one of the most beautiful birds you’ll ever see. But it doesn’t look like much from the ground. This tiny bird spends most of its life high above us, soaring across open spaces, hunting flying prey.
But don’t let its size fool you. If you’re lucky enough to spot one of these swallows, you might find yourself mesmerized by its beauty.
From below they appear all white. But the top of their heads, backs, and wings are an irridescent blue-green color.
Tree Swallows prefer to breed north of the equator, especially in Canada and the northern US. They migrate south during winter to coastal areas such as southern California.
A population lives year round in southern California.
7. Northern Parula
In spring and summer, the Northern Parula can be heard buzzing throughout the treetops with its colorful patches of yellow, blue, and white.
8. Lazuli Bunting
You might worry about mistaking a Lazuli Bunting for an Indigo Bunting. Don’t worry about that – there are several ways to tell them apart. While only the males of both species are blue, Lazuli buntings aren’t completely blue-feathered. They have a brown breast and a white belly.
9. Steller’s Jay
Cyanocitta stelleri is a member of the genus of birds known as Jays. There are over 30 species of jays worldwide. These birds live in temperate regions across North America, Eurasia and Africa. In the United States, there are four species of jays found exclusively east of the Rocky Mountains. One of those species is the Steller’s Jay. This bird lives in the west coast states of California, Oregon and Washington.
10. California Scrub-Jay
The California Scrub-Jay is a fairly large songbird with beautiful blue coloring on its head, back and tail. The upper back of the bird can be gray or brown in color. It has mostly white chest and belly, with blue feathers that circle the front like a “necklace”.
They are known for having a boisterous personality, both with frequent vocalizations and the way they bounce around and always seem to be cocking their heads and hatching schemes. Throughout northern, coastal, and central California, the California Scrub-Jay can be found all year round.
Florida Scrub Jays (central Florida) and Woodhouse’s Scrub Jays (southwestern U.S.) look very similar.
11. Little Blue Heron
The Little Blue Heron is one of the smallest members of the heron family. This bird is found throughout much of North America and prefers wetlands, ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, estuaries, coastal waters, and saltwater lagoons. Their diet consists mainly of fish, amphibians, crustaceans, insects, worms, and small aquatic mammals. These birds spend their days fishing near the shoreline where they often perch on logs, tree branches, or stumps. They usually fly low over the surface of the water searching for food.
12. Belted Kingfisher
With its large beak and head, the Belted Kingfisher seems comically disproportionate to its preferred habitat: streams, riversides, and coasts. When it spots a suitable fish, the kingfisher dives into the water and snatches it with its powerful bill. It perches on branches over water to hunt.
Its head, crest, back, wings and “necklace” are all dark, powdery blue, and its belly is white with brown stripes. Males have a white belly, while females have a white belly with brown stripes.
13. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
The dusky blue-gray bird can be seen throughout the country from Pennsylvania to California during the summer. Their population lives year-round in Florida and along the Gulf Coast, as well as throughout Mexico. They prefer forests with open space and deciduous trees, as well as near water.
Blue-gray Gnatcatchers will beat an insect that is too big to eat in one bite against a tree branch before eating it.
14. Barn Swallow
Barn swallows are among the world’s most common migratory birds. Their scientific name, Hirundo rustica, translates to “the house swallow.” Barn swallows breed across North America, including Canada. In winter, they migrate south along the Atlantic coast.
The bird’s body shape makes it look like a miniature airplane. Its long tail helps balance while flying. A barn swallow’s wing span measures about 2 inches wide.
A male barn swallow spends much of his life building a home for himself and his mate. He builds a large mud cup with a side entrance. The female lays her eggs inside the cup. The pair shares duties of incubating the eggs and feeding the chicks.
During migration, the birds stop over to rest and refuel. Some species spend the night in manmade structures such as bridges and buildings. When they return to the same spot the next day, they find food waiting for them.
15. Black-throated Blue Warbler
The scientific name of this bird is Setophaga caerulea. This warbler spends the winter in the Caribbean. Then it migrates north to the east coast of the United States. They are found near lakes and rivers. Their song is loud and clear. You’ll hear it during migration.
16. Cerulean Warbler
The male Cerulean Warblers are striking sky blues that can even appear turqouise in the right light. They have a white throat, black streaks and a long tail. Females look like males with yellow feathers that have some bluish tinge.
These warblers spend the winter north of Argentina and Chile, then migrate to the United States to spend the summer. In the fall, they return to southern Mexico and Central America.