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Western Blue Bird

Sialia mexicana

Western Bluebird, Sialia mexicana, photo © by Michael Plagens

This male Western Bluebird was observed at Bushnell Tank along Sycamore Creek in the Mazatzal Moutains, Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA. Nov. 2009.

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Bluebirds, including the Western Bluebird, tend to prefer open country and thus would normally not nest or reside for long within the closed canopy along a sycamore canyon. If, however, fruit is available then bluebirds will join the many other birds. Canyon grape, hackberries, chokecherries and juniper are among the plants that produce an abundance of desirable fruit. When fruits do not bring these birds into riparian settings, they nest and feed in open woodlands such as ponderosa and piñon-juniper. Occurrence at lower elevations is more likely during late fall, winter and spring.

Female bluebirds are mostly dull bluish-gray lacking the brilliant blue and rusty orange on breast.

Through the summer and nesting season the principal food is insects. Nesting is in tree cavities, particularly large, old snags of ponderosa pine.

Summer Resident - Migration to Neotropics for winter months

Turdidae -- Thrush Family

More Information:

Arizona Naturalist
Sycamore Canyons
The Fauna of Arizona's Sycamore Canyons


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2010