Mountain Bluebird- Sialia currucoides

by Bryce W. Robinson

Male and female Mountain Bluebird- Sialia currucoides, respectively. Watercolor on paper

The western United States is home to a number of blue birds. Tinted blue not by pigmentation, but the physical structure of the feathers, these species stand out against the expansive landscapes they inhabit. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I saw a number of Mountain Bluebird in the high desert sage and greasewood landscape while surveying for wintering raptors. I was taken aback by the bright blue birds against the ghostly green hew of the sage dominated flatlands. With majestic mountains and wide open skies to set the backdrop, I watched in awe at the scene that presented itself time and time again. Whatever reason or pressures drove this bird to develop blue plumage, I am certainly grateful, and will never pass up the opportunity to watch the aesthetically tantalizing image of the Mountain Bluebird against the high desert lands. If you are unfamiliar with this bird, search it out. You will likely find yourself stricken with the same feelings as I when beholding this bright blue symbol of vitality amidst a see of ghostly green.