Western Bluebird

 

Western Bluebird
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Turdidae
Genus: Sialia
Species: mexicana

La. passer sparrow, small bird
La. forma form, kind, species
iLa. turdus a thrush
La. -idae appearance, resemblance
Gr. sialis a kind of bird
Aztec Mexitili god of war

Painting of a western bluebird perched on a twig with underside of clouds lit by rising sun background.
About six inches long. Rich azure blue head, neck, back, rump and tail. Reddish brown breast, flanks and a purplish chestnut patch on the upper back. Grayish blue belly. Black bill and eyes.

Western bluebirds inhabit forest edges, groves and small tree stands, open country, farms and towns in western North America in the Rocky Mountains from British Columbia, all along the Pacific Coast and the arid Southwest, to southern Mexico, overlapping the mountain bluebird range.

USGS map shows western bluebirds range among western costal states and southern British Columbia, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.
Forages for beetles, spiders, caterpillars and grasshoppers. They also eat berries and other odd fruit.

Builds nests of sticks, grass, rubbish and feathers in natural or abandoned tree and post hollows, abandoned mud nests of cliff swallows, between tree trunks and their loose bark, barns, cabins and odd building nooks and crannies and birdhouses.

Lays four to six bluish white eggs which hatch after about two weeks incubation and young leave the nest in about another three weeks.

The Western Bluebird Birdhouse (same as for the mountain bluebird), has a 5″ by 5″ floor, 12″ inside floor to ceiling and a 1 9/16″ diameter entrance hole located 10″ above the floor and ventilation openings.

Fix the roof with hinges and lock in a closed position with shutter hooks. Some prefer a fixed roof with a Side Opening Door.

Use wood stock rough cut on both sides. Assemble with corrosion resistant screws fit to pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes to reduce splitting wood.

Tree swallow nest boxes placed between bluebird nest boxes invite these good neighbors and they will help defend against sparrows.

The Swallow Birdhouse is similar and could easily be mixed in with any bluebird trail.

It has a 5″ by 5″ floor, 8″ inside floor to ceiling and a 1 1/2″ diameter entrance hole located 6″ above the floor.

Mount bluebird houses 3′ – 6′ high on a post in woodland clearings, shelter belt edges bordering fields, among scattered trees, or pasture fence lines.

Make a “bluebird trail” of several houses about 100 yards apart; further in wide open expanses and closer in clearings of wooded areas. Avoid shade, but also avoid direct sunlight through the entrance if possible.

On fence lines mount houses on the sides of posts facing the next post. The recessed position helps avoid cattle or other large animals that like to rub against them.

Monitor the boxes for unwanted squatters. Deter predators with steel posts or sheet metal wrapped around wood posts.

Flycatchers, chickadees, titmice, wrens, nuthatches and woodpeckers may also use these boxes.

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Western Bluebird

Painting of a western bluebird perched on a twig with underside of clouds lit by rising sun background.
 

Western Bluebird
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Turdidae
Genus: Sialia
Species: mexicana

La. passer sparrow, small bird
La. forma form, kind, species
iLa. turdus a thrush
La. -idae appearance, resemblance
Gr. sialis a kind of bird
Aztec Mexitili god of war

About six inches long. Rich azure blue head, neck, back, rump and tail. Reddish brown breast, flanks and a purplish chestnut patch on the upper back. Grayish blue belly. Black bill and eyes.

USGS map shows western bluebirds range among western costal states and southern British Columbia, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.
Western bluebirds inhabit forest edges, groves and small tree stands, open country, farms and towns in western North America in the Rocky Mountains from British Columbia, all along the Pacific Coast and the arid Southwest, to southern Mexico, overlapping the mountain bluebird range.
Forages for beetles, spiders, caterpillars and grasshoppers. They also eat berries and other odd fruit.

Builds nests of sticks, grass, rubbish and feathers in natural or abandoned tree and post hollows, abandoned mud nests of cliff swallows, between tree trunks and their loose bark, barns, cabins and odd building nooks and crannies and birdhouses.

Lays four to six bluish white eggs which hatch after about two weeks incubation and young leave the nest in about another three weeks.

Select to view or print the western & mountain bluebird nest box plans
The Western Bluebird Birdhouse (same as for the mountain bluebird), has a 5″ by 5″ floor, 12″ inside floor to ceiling and a 1 9/16″ diameter entrance hole located 10″ above the floor and ventilation openings.

Fix the roof with hinges and lock in a closed position with shutter hooks. Some prefer a fixed roof with a Side Opening Door.

Use wood stock rough cut on both sides. Assemble with corrosion resistant screws fit to pre-drilled countersunk pilot holes to reduce splitting wood.

Select to view or print the Swallow Birdhouse Plans
Tree swallow nest boxes placed between bluebird nest boxes invite these good neighbors and they will help defend against sparrows.

The Swallow Birdhouse is similar and could easily be mixed in with any bluebird trail.

It has a 5″ by 5″ floor, 8″ inside floor to ceiling and a 1 1/2″ diameter entrance hole located 6″ above the floor.

Mount bluebird houses 3′ – 6′ high on a post in woodland clearings, shelter belt edges bordering fields, among scattered trees, or pasture fence lines.

Make a “bluebird trail” of several houses about 100 yards apart; further in wide open expanses and closer in clearings of wooded areas. Avoid shade, but also avoid direct sunlight through the entrance if possible.

On fence lines mount houses on the sides of posts facing the next post. The recessed position helps avoid cattle or other large animals that like to rub against them.

Monitor the boxes for unwanted squatters. Deter predators with steel posts or sheet metal wrapped around wood posts.

Flycatchers, chickadees, titmice, wrens, nuthatches and woodpeckers may also use these boxes.

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