Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides)
 
Status in the Checklist Area - Uncommon to rare*
     
 
Information

Possibly nothing is much more breathtaking than a male Mountain Bluebird in its rich, sky-blue colours. Preferring more open areas, such as fields, pastures and estuaries, Mountain Bluebirds can often be spotted on fence posts or the tops of shrubs and small trees. They often fly down to the ground to catch insects from a perch or after a short hover. Like all bluebird species in North America, they nest in cavities and take readily to nest boxes in their breeding area. They are a rare breeder in our checklist area preferring regions in the interior but does breed in Manning Park. Migratory, Mountain Bluebirds spend the winter in the southern states through to central Mexico. At times, are seen in flocks numbering over a dozen birds. Usually flocks of two to three birds are typical.

Similar species:
Males are unmistakable. Bright females Mountain Bluebirds can be a challenge telling apart from female Western Bluebirds. Note the difference in structure with Western Bluebirds being stockier with larger heads, thicker bills and shorter wings and tails.

Best Viewing Locations:
Hope Airport is probably the most reliable place to view them from mid-late March through to middle April.

Sources:
Ehrlich, Dobkin and Wheye, (1988)
Sibley, D. (2000)

     
Noteworthy Data
 
Date
Location
Source(s)
Comments
November 9, 2013 Lafeuvre Road, Abbotsford C. Buis 2013
W. Aslin
Two birds observed until November 15, 2013 (W. Aslin 2013). Photographed.
October 19, 2013 Cheam Ridge, Chilliwack C. McDonald 2013h
D . Beeke
Three observed in the alpine.
April 15, 2013 Flood Hope Road, Hope M. Force 2013a
T. Plath
At least 15 documented.
April 13, 2013 Harrison Lagoon, Harrison Hot Springs C. McDonald 2013g Three females and three males.
April 13, 2013 Gibson Road, Chilliwack D. Peppar 2013 Up to eleven birds spotted feeding in corn fields. Also seen on April 14, 2013
December 29, 2012 Matsqui Prairie, Abbotsford T. Plath 2012 A single bird recorded on the Abbotsford-Mission Christmas Bird Count. First winter record.
October 25, 2012 Hope Airport G. Gadsden 2012n A male and female photographed. Late record.
September 14, 2012 Needle Peak, Coquihalla D. Beeke 2012f Fifteen birds recorded on the hike.
March 21, 2012 Hope Airport K. Pugh 2012 About twelve birds recorded.
April 06, 2011 Hope Airport W. Young 2011 Over 30 birds counted. New highest count record for area.
April 18, 2009 Chehalis Estuary, Harrison Mills D. Knopp 2009 Two flocks, one of 7 birds, another of 22! The largest concentration for this species recorded for the checklist area to date.
April 06, 2009 Agassiz M. Brown 2009 Five birds near Agassiz/Rosedale Bridge.
April 13, 2008 Harrison Hot Springs J. Perrin 2008 Eight birds near lagoon.
March 06, 2006 Chehalis Estuary, Harrison Mills K. Stewart 2006 Earliest record for the checklist area.
 
Photographs
           
           
           
                 
                   
Audio and Video    
None available
 

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