The Beloved, Brilliant American Bluebird

The North American bluebird has made a comeback that’s as remarkable as its striking hue. Learn more about bluebirds and how you can support these true blue beauties.



American bluebird - eastern bluebird
A male eastern bluebird perches on an eastern redbud tree. Bluebirds are unique to North America, and at least one of the three American bluebird species graces every state except Hawaii and every Canadian province except Newfoundland.
PHOTO: RICHARD DAY/DAYBREAK IMAGERY
western bluebird
Its rusty breast and the light blue tinge on its belly distinguish the western bluebird.
TOM VEZO
mountain bluebird
The mountain bluebird is characterized by its full body of vivid blue plumage.
ISTOCKPHOTO/STEVEN ROBERTSON
bluebird eggs
A bluebird nest is a tight cup woven mostly of grass, plant stems or pine needles. After completing it, the female bluebird lays one egg per day. To ensure her young will hatch at the same time, she starts incubating only after she has laid the entire clutch, which is usually four to six eggs.
RICHARD DAY/DAYBRAK IMAGERY
bluebird nest box
A male and a female eastern bluebird hang out atop a nest box, which provides shelter from weather and predators, and a place for the female to lay her eggs.
RICHARD DAY/DAYBRAK IMAGERY
baby bluebird
An eastern bluebird mother feeds her youngster. Baby bluebirds grow quickly: They have feathers after a week and a half, and within three weeks, they’re able to fly from the nest.
RICHARD DAY/DAYBREAK IMAGERY
bluebird feathers
Scientifically speaking, bluebirds aren’t really blue. The bluebird’s blue is called a “structural color,” caused when light is scattered and reflected by tiny structures within each feather’s myriad microscopic barbules. If you were to grind a bluebird feather to a powder, its color would be ashen gray.
BILL BEATTY
bluebird couple
A western bluebird couple shares a heart-shaped cuddle.
ISTOCKPHOTO/ERIC BETTINI
bluebird song
The eastern male bluebird (left) uses more than 50 song phrases to woo mates and stake out territory.
RICHARD DAY/DAYBREAK IMAGERY











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