U.S. State Bird of Idaho and Nevada
- Mountain Bluebird
The Mountain Bluebird is the State Bird of two states: Idaho and Nevada.
Look for Mountain Bluebirds in open country of the Inter-mountain West. They differ from the two other species of bluebirds because they like to hover
on the wind (especially on slopes and hillsides) while searching for insects.
American Ornithologist'Union Common Name: Mountain Bluebird
Family: Turdidae, Thrushes
Scientific name: Sialia currucoides
Length: 7.25" (18 cm)
Diet: Insects; also takes fruit, especially in winter.
Young are fed insects for the protein.
Foraging Behavior: Often hovers while foraging from ground
or hawking from low perch.
Song a series of low, burry whistles like call
jerrf jerrf jewr jipo jerrf. Call a soft whistle similar to other
bluebirds but thinner and clearer: feeer or a mellow, muffled
perf, always descending; also a short, harsh chik or
Habitat: Open rangelands, meadows, generally at
elevations above 5,000 feet; in winter found primarily in open
lowlands and desert.
Number of broods: 2
Nest: Often in woodpecker-excavated cavity; loose
cup of grass, weed stems, pine needles, twigs, occasionally with hair
or feathers. Female selects site.
Eggs: Averages 5-6 pale blue to bluish-white
eggs, rarely white, unmarked. 0.8" (22 mm).
Incubation period: 13-14 days
Fledge: 22-23 days after hatching
Longevity Record: 9 Years and 0 months, with the record coming from a banded bird that was recaptured and released alive in 2005 in
Alberta, Canada - (data from the USGS Bird Banding Lab).
Mountain Bluebird at a Nestbox
Mountain Bluebird Feeding Young
The nestlings are young and the parents seem inexperienced. Watch as the parent doesn't seem to want to let the food go.