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Eastern Bluebird

Sialia sialis

Order:
Passeriformes
Family:
Turdidae
Sections

Multimedia

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Photos from this Account

Adult male Eastern Bluebird, NJ, 18 April.

Male Eastern Bluebirds have vivid blue upperparts, rusty or brick-red on the throat and breast, and white on the belly and undertail. Note, blue is a structural color in birds, which means that the color's vibrance depends on the light conditions. Males may appear plain gray-brown from a distance. Image via BIrdshare: William Jobes.

Adult male Eastern Bluebird at natural nest cavity, Staunton River SP, Halifax Co., VA, 7 July.

Bluebirds are secondary cavity nesters, meaning they put their nests in natural cavities, or in nest boxes, or other artificial refuges. The male Eastern Bluebird will display at his nest cavity to attract a female. He brings nest material to the hole, goes in and out, and waves his wings while perched above it. Image via Birdshare; R. Bruce.

Adult female Eastern Bluebird dorsal view, Hadley, Hampshire Co., MA, 23 November.

In females, white border of outermost rectrix is broader than on male. Image via BIrdshare: Bill Thompson.

Eastern Bluebird nestlings, age 6 days; Ohio, April.

Washington Co. Ohio; unlikely that all 5 young will fledge, Apr 15, 2004; photographer J. ZICKEFOOSE

Eastern Bluebird nest and eggs; Ohio, April.

Washington Co. Ohio; 5 eggs is a typical spring clutch for this species, and blue is the usual color (rarely, eggs are white)., Apr 15, 2004; photographer J. ZICKEFOOSE

Eastern Bluebird clutch, Illinois.

Highland Park, Lake Co., IL. 5 May 1913. Ruler is in cm.  White eggs are rare in this species; most are sky blue. ; photographer Rene Corado

Adult female Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) feeding on Winterberry (Ilex sp.) fruits in winter, Ithaca, New York, January.

Fruit is key to the diet of this species in winter., Jan 01, 2000; photographer M. Read

Eastern Bluebird nest, Pennsylvania.

Longwood Gardens, Chester Co. PA. 13 Jul 1978. Ruler is in cm.; photographer Rene Corado

Adult female Eastern Bluebird, feeding young; Ohio, July.

Washington Co. Ohio; plumage of adult is Alternate (worn), that of young is Juvenal., Jul 15, 2004; photographer J. ZICKEFOOSE

Eastern Bluebird nestlings, age 11 days; Ohio, July.

Washington Co. Ohio; note emerging primaries., Jul 15, 2004; photographer J. ZICKEFOOSE

Adult male Eastern Bluebird (ssp. fulva), Patagonia, AZ, 13 February.

There are currently seven recognized subspecies of Eastern Bluebird. S. s. fulva (pictured) is resident from the mountains of south eastern Arizona, through pine and pine–oak habitats to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico. S. s. fulva males are similar to S. s. sialis in appearance, but underparts are paler and more dull, with less contrast to white belly, and more brown tones on the mantle (cinnamon fringes on scapulars). Image by Andrew Core.

Juvenile male Eastern Bluebird dorsal view, Norman, Cleveland Co., OK, 13 May.

Juvenal plumage much browner than adults, with white spotting on back, and white eye-ring. Sexes identifiable in juveniles—males have blue in wing, wing coverts, and tail, and narrower buff border on outermost rectrix. Image via BIrdshare: Lindell Dillon.

Adult female Eastern Bluebird, Hadley, Hampshire Co., MA, 10 December.

Female has blue gray upperparts, with gray brown wash across back. Females may show varying degrees of a white eye-ring. Wings and tail washed with dull blue, and underparts a more subdued rufous than on male. Image via Birdshare: Bill Thompson.

Juvenile male Eastern Bluebird, Kissimmee, Osceola Co., FL, 10 May.

Juvenal plumage much browner than adults, with white mottling above becoming more dusky ventrally, and white eye-ring. Sexes identifiable in juveniles—males have blue in wing, wing coverts, and tail, and narrower buff border on outermost rectrix. Image via Birdshare: Cleber Ferreira.

Adult male Eastern Bluebird, bathing; Ohio, September.

Washington Co. Ohio; male in fresh Basic plumage., Sep 15, 2004; photographer J. ZICKEFOOSE

Adult male Eastern Bluebird (ssp. sialis), TN, 11 February.

There are currently seven recognized subspecies of Eastern Bluebird. S. s. sialis (pictured) breeds in e. North America, through Florida and Coahuila. Throat and chest of male (S. s. sialis) a dull rufous to chestnut, with the breast contrasting sharply with white belly. Dorsum is deep, vivid blue. Image via Birdshare: Syd Phillips.

Adult male Eastern Bluebird, Everglades NP, FL, 27 March.

There are currently seven recognized subspecies of Eastern Bluebird. S. s. sialis (pictured) breeds in e. North America, through Florida and Coahuila. Bill length is greatest in s. Florida and perhaps elsewhere in the se. United States. Image by Hammerchewer.

Eastern Bluebirds mating, Upper Peninsula, MI, 4 May.

Image via Birdshare: Larry McGahey.

The outstretched wing of a hatch-year bluebird. November, Pennsylvania.

Here you can see the dusky gray edging on the primary coverts and the outer greater coverts. Also, note the molt limit among the greater coverts (outer ones with gray edging are juvenile feathers)., Nov 10, 2008; photographer Powdermill

The outstretched wing of an after-hatch-year male bluebird. November, PA.

Notice the sharp blue edging on the feathers and the lack of a molt limit., Nov 10, 2008; photographer Powdermill

Recommended Citation

Gowaty, Patricia A. and Jonathan H. Plissner. 2015. Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bna.381