Sialia mexicana
(Western Bluebird)

Order: Passeriformes
Order Description: Passerines
Family: Turdidae
Family Description: Thrushes, Solitaires and Bluebirds

Physical Description:
6-7" (15-18 cm). Male has blue hood, wings, tail, and rump with chestnut breast, flanksClick word for definition, and (usually) shoulders; varying amount of chestnut and blue on back. Female is sooty gray above with some light blue markings on shoulders and edges of tail; buffClick word for definition below with pale cinnamon flanks.

Similar Species- Male Eastern Bluebird, Mountain Bluebird

Song is an abrupt cher cherlee cherb.

Resident from southern British Columbia and central Montana, south in mountains to northern Baja California and central mainland of Mexico. May wander to other areas during winter.

Found in open or riparian woodlands, farmlands, orchards, and savannas. Also inhabits desert areas during winter.

Mainly insectivorousClick word for definition. Eats grasshoppers, caterpillars, beetles, other insects, and other invertebrates (spiders, earthworms, sow bugs, etc.). Feeds seasonally on berries and other fruits.

Nests in excavated cavity, preferably in standing snag or hollow tree. Forages by flycatching, and by dropping from perch to ground. Colorado study found average of 0.6 breeding birds/ha in montane forests. In Idhao, species has probably benefited from extensive placement of nestboxes.

clutchClick word for definition size varies from 3-8 eggs (usually 4-6). Incubation lasts 13-14 days. altricialClick word for definition nestlings are tended by both parents. Fledged young are tended by male while female renests (female usually produces 2 broodsClick word for definition/yr).

Element Code: ABPBJ15020
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4,NTMB
National Rank: N5

Important State References:
Saab, V.A. and J. Dudley. 1995. Nest usurpation and cavity use by Lewis' Woodpecker. USDA Forest Service Inter. Res. Sta. Rep., Boise. 13pp.

Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.