Birdwatching Opportunities in washington

Mountain Bluebird

Sialia currucoides

Mountain Bluebird - Birdwatching in Okanogan County 
Photo by Mary Kiesau

"They're back! Mountain bluebirds: those easy to spot, bright cerulean blue, but nearly silent song birds. With spring coming, they are flocking back to the Methow and Okanogan Valleys, while the snow is melting and the insects are reappearing. The Western bluebirds, which have a bit of orange on their breast are returning as well, but let's focus on the Mountain species. These gorgeous birds are in the Thrush family, which are typically fantastic singers, but the bluebird makes itself known by its flashy color. The males are almost completely blue; whereas the females (and juveniles we'll see later on) are a drabber grayish-brown color, with blue wings and tails. Over the next 2-3 months is the time we'll see them in our Valley bottoms, near open shrubby areas and treed edges. As soon as the high mountain country starts melting off, they will begin moving up in elevation to their breeding grounds. Most of our Mountain bluebirds will not nest in our residential areas. They are 'secondary cavity' nesters, meaning they need a pre-made cavity in a tree, such as one created by a woodpecker or a nest box that you can provide. Sometimes they will stick around our properties if they've found a perfect home they just can't pass up, perhaps you'll be one of those lucky people!"

Mountain Bluebird - Winter Birdwatching in Okanogan County Photo by Mary Kiesau

Fun Facts! 

Information from the Seattle Audubon Society
  • Mountain Bluebirds fly low over grasslands, then drop to pounce on their prey. They also dart out from perches to catch food in mid-air!
  • Their diets consist of a higher percentage of insects over other thrush varieties.
  • A pair of Mountain Bluebirds raises two broods of eggs per season