Western Bluebird: Small thrush with deep blue hood and upperparts, crescent mark across upper back, red-brown breast, and white belly. Bill, legs and feet are black. Populations are declining due to competition for nest sites with European Starlings, Tree Swallows and House Sparrows.
Range and Habitat
Western Bluebird: Breeds from British Columbia and western Alberta south to Baja, east throughout the mountains of the west to eastern New Mexico. Spends winters throughout most of its breeding range, although northernmost populations withdraw southward. Preferred habitats include open woodlands and pastures where old trees provide nest sites.
Western Bluebirds have suffered from competition for nest sites from European Starlings and House Sparrows.
Swallows have been seen feeding and defending the nests of Western Bluebirds.
According to genetic studies, 45% of Western Bluebirds' nests carried young that were not offspring of the defending male.
A group of thrushes are collectively known as a "hermitage" and a "mutation" of thrushes.
The Western Bluebird is a small thrush found in western North America outside of the desert. This species prefers habitats which include semi-open country. In winter months, the Western Bluebird migrates to southern parts of its normal range; however southern populations will remain permanent residents. Nests are built in nestboxes or tree cavities, competing with Tree Swallows, House Sparrows and European Starlings. This bird catches its food by waiting on a perch and swooping to eat mainly insects. Some insects are caught in-flight, and this bird will also eat berries. The conservation rating for this species is Least Concern.