Bluebirds are distinguished from the
other bluebirds by the male's all blue coloration, without rusty underparts (see
photo to the right).
Females are much plainer (see photo #3 at the bottom of the page). The Mountain Bluebird is a summer resident to the western part of the state,
only rarely appearing in the east.
Habitat: Prefers open territory with some
trees, but also found in treeless areas. Found not only in mountain
meadows and clearings, but sometimes at lower elevation rangeland, farmland, and
Diet: Mostly insects, with berries an important item in the winter.
Behavior: Mountain Bluebirds often forage by
hovering, much more so than other bluebirds, dropping to grab prey items
once spotted. They will also flycatch by observing from a perch and
flying out to catch insects in mid-air.
Nesting: May through July
Migration: Summers in the western U.S. up to Alaska. Winters in
the southwest U.S. through Mexico.
Similar Species: The male's all blue coloration distinguishes it
from other bluebirds. Possibly confused with Indigo Bunting at a distance.
Birdfeeders: Will sometimes attend feeders for offered
Birdhouses: Will nest in man-made nest houses.
Conservation Status: Populations appear to be stable, and may
be increasing due to increasing placement (and use) of nest boxes.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Mountain Bluebird"
eNature.com: Mountain Bluebird
Photo Information: May 25th, 2008 - Custer State
Park, Black Hills, South Dakota - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Mountain Bluebird photos.