Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides)

Mountain Bluebird

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Turdidae | [latin] Sialia currucoides | [UK] Mountain Bluebird | [FR] Merle bleu azure | [DE] Berg-Huttensanger | [ES] Azulejo palido | [NL] Bergsialia

Subspecies

Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Myadestes currucoides
Sialia currucoides NA w w Mexico

Physical charateristics

Male : Turquoise blue, paler below; belly whitish. No rusty. Female
: Dull brownish, with a touch of blue on rump, tail, and wings. Has a straighter posture than female Western Bluebird and lacks rusty wash on gray-brown breast.

Listen to the sound of Mountain Bluebird

[audio:http://www.aviflevoland.nl/sounddb/M/Mountain Bluebird.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 34 cm wingspan max.: 37 cm
size min.: 18 cm size max.: 19 cm
incubation min.: 13 days incubation max.: 14 days
fledging min.: 23 days fledging max.: 23 days
broods: 2   eggs min.: 4  
      eggs max.: 7  

Range

North America : West

Habitat

Open country with some trees; in winter, also treeless terrain.
Often in more open areas than other bluebirds. Breeding habitats not always in mountains; found in lowland prairies and sagebrush flats as well as alpine zones above treeline. In winter, most
common in pinyon-juniper woods but also in open grassland, desert, farmland, even barren plowed fields.

Reproduction

Sometimes interbreeds with Eastern Bluebird where their ranges overlap.
Nest:
Apparently the female selects the site for the nest. Site is in a cavity, usually a natural hollow or old woodpecker hole in tree, or in a birdhouse. Sometimes nests in holes in dirt banks, crevices in cliffs or among rocks, holes in sides of buildings,
old nests of other birds (such as Cliff Swallow or Dipper). Nest in cavity (probably built by both sexes) is loose cup of weed stems, grass, twigs, rootlets, pine needles, sometimes lined with animal hair or feathers.
Eggs: 5-6, sometimes 4-8. Pale blue, unmarked (occasionally white). Incubation is by female, about 13-17 days.
Young: Both parents bring food for nestlings. Young leave the nest about 17-23 days after hatching, are tended by parents for another 3-4 weeks. 2 broods per year.

Feeding habits

Mostly insects and berries.
Feeds heavily on insects, including beetles, grasshoppers, caterpillars, crickets, ants, bees, and others. Also eats some berries, including those of mistletoe, juniper, hackberry, and other plants. Berries are particularly important in the diet in winte
r.
Behavior: Often forages by hovering over open field, then dropping to the ground when prey is spotted. Hovers more than other bluebirds. Also perches on rock or low branch and darts out to catch flying insects.

Conservation

This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Mountain Bluebird status Least Concern

Migration

Alaska, western Canada to southwestern United States. Winters to northwestern Mexico. Migration:
Migrates relatively late in fall and early in spring. Winter range varies from year to year, depending on food supplies. Flocks sometimes wander east on Great Plains, and lone strays occasionally go as far as the Atlantic Coast.

Distribution map

Mountain Bluebird distribution range map

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