9 Common Blue Birds in Colorado (Pictures and Info)


Blue Birds in Colorado

Colorado is popular among both tourists as well as its residents for its skiing as well as its breath-taking landscapes. The presence of a huge variety of birds makes it a great place for bird-watching enthusiasts. The state homes more than 511 species of birds; all of them have diverse shapes, sizes, and colors. In this article, we are going to take a look at nine species of birds inhabiting the state that have blue bodies.

 

Black-Throated Blue Warbler

Black-Throated Blue Warbler

Scientific name – Setophaga caerulescens
Body length – about 13 centimeters (5.1 inches)
Weight – about 8.4-12.4 grams (0.30-0.44 ounces)
Wingspan – 19-20 centimeters (7.5-7.9 inches)
Lifespan – about 10 years
Diet – omnivore, insectivore
Conservation status – least concern

Being predominantly insectivores, the Black-throated Blue Warblers are small passerine birds that belong to the family of the New World Warblers.

Description – Black-throated Blue Warblers display a significant sexual dimorphism. The adult males have a black face, neck, throat, and flanks, with contrasting white underparts and a deep blue back and upperparts. The juvenile males take after their adults, except their upperparts are green instead of blue.

The female Black-throated Blue Warblers have dark wings and tail with olive-brown upperparts. Their underparts are light yellow, with brown patches on their cheeks and a greyish crown.

Habitat and range – Black-throated Blue Warblers are migratory birds that inhabit either the mature temperate deciduous forests or mixed deciduous-coniferous forests with thick undergrowth in the breeding season.

These birds are also seen nesting in mountainous regions in south-eastern Canada and the north-eastern United States in Summers. Their migration season begins in the late summers when they travel to the Greater Antilles, where they winter in the tropical wooded areas.

Feeding habits – The Black-throated Blue Warblers are primarily insect-eaters, switching to fruits, seeds, and berries only in the winters. Their main diet includes spiders, crane flies, and caterpillars. Both sexes prefer to forage in different areas.

 

Western Bluebird

Western Bluebird

Scientific name – Sialia mexicana
Body length – 15-18 centimeters (5.9-7.1 inches)
Weight – 24-31 grams (0.84-1.09 ounces)
Wingspan – 30-33 centimeters (11.1-12.9 inches)
Lifespan – about 6 years
Diet – omnivore
Conservation status – least concern

Native to North America, the Western Bluebirds are small birds that belong to the family of Thrushes.

Description – Western Bluebirds are small, yet stocky birds with a short tail and a thin, straight bill. These birds display sexual dimorphism. The adult males have a bright blue head and neck coupled with a brown patch on their back. Their upper breast and sides are orange, with a grey shade on the belly and under tail coverts.

Although the females have a blue body as well, theirs are a duller shade than the males. They have a grey throat and belly with their breast covered in dull orange. The juveniles are duller in appearance than their parents, with spotting on their chest and back.

Habitat and range – Little is known about the natural habitat of the Western Bluebirds, except for the fact that these birds have now adapted themselves to inhabit semi-open terrains, farmlands, coniferous forests, as well as deserts.

They have a far-reaching breeding range, including Oaxaca and Veracruz in Mexico, and Arizona, California, New Mexico, and the southern Rocky Mountains in the United States.

During winters, the northern population of the Western Bluebirds moves south, while their southern population remains where they are.

Feeding habits – The Western Bluebirds can eat insects such as moths, termites, beetles, ants, spiders, as well as berries like holly, sumac, dogwood, etc.

 

Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay

Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay

Scientific name – Aphelocoma woodhouseii
Body length – 27-31 centimeters (11-12 inches)
Weight – about 80 grams (2.8 ounces)
Wingspan – about 39 centimeters (15 inches)
Lifespan – about 9 years
Diet – omnivore
Conservation status – least concern

Native to North America, Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays are medium-sized birds that belong to the genus of Aphelocoma.

Description – Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays lack sexual dimorphism, both sexes appearing somewhat alike. These birds have a medium-sized body with a blue head, wings, and tail. Their back is colored in the shade of greyish brown, with grey underparts.

On their throat is a circular white patch with a blue necklace. The birds that inhabit the Pacific coastal regions are brighter than those that live in the interior regions of the country.

Habitat and range – Just as their name suggests, the Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays prefer to nest in areas with low-scrub, such as the pinon-juniper forests, mesquite bosques, oak woods, and evergreen forests. Moreover, these birds can be found in temperate and boreal forests as well as scrub-brush.

Feeding habits – Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jays are highly social birds that prefer to forage in family groups or pairs. These birds mainly feed on insects, frogs, lizards, their eggs, as well as the eggs of small birds. However, in winters, they depend more on grains, berries, and nuts.

 

Blue Grosbeak

Blue Grosbeak

Scientific name – Passerina caerulea
Body length – 14-19 centimeters (5.5-7.5 inches)
Weight – 26-31 grams (0.91-1.11 ounces)
Wingspan – 26-29 centimeters (10-11 inches)
Lifespan – about 5.5 years
Diet – omnivore
Conservation status – least concern

The Blue Grosbeaks are small passerine birds belonging to the family of the Cardinals that are native to North America.

Description – The Blue Grosbeaks display a strong sexual dimorphism, wherein only the males acquire the blue color they have been named after. The adult males have a deep blue body with their wings colored in shades of black and brown.

On the other hand, the females are mostly brown in color. However, both the sexes have double wing bars on their flight feathers, as well as a large, deep bill. Most birdwatchers confuse them with the Indigo Buntings. However, these birds are larger in size than the latter.

Habitat and range – The Blue Grosbeaks are migratory birds that spend their breeding months in northern Mexico as well as the southern regions of the United States. In winters, these birds migrate to Central America.

Feeding habits – The Blue Grosbeaks specialize in foraging on the ground, rarely looking for food on the branches of trees. Being omnivores, they can eat snails and spiders as well as grains, wild fruits, and seeds.

 

Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule

Scientific name – Porphyrio porphyrio
Body length – 26-37 centimeters (10-15 inches)
Weight – 141-304 grams (5.0-10.7 ounces)
Wingspan – 50-60 centimeters (20-23 inches)
Lifespan – about 22 years
Diet – omnivore
Conservation status – least concern

Although they are crane-like in appearance, the Purple Gallinules are swamphen that belongs to the family of the Rails.

Description – The Purple Gallinules have a medium-sized body and display sexual dimorphism, wherein the males are both larger and heavier than their female counterparts. The adults have a red bill tipped with yellow, a pale blue forehead, and a blue-purple plumage that appears to be green or turquoise when it catches the sunlight.

The juvenile Purple Gallinules have a bronze-colored body with purple feathers on their chest. Both their bill and forehead are much paler than the adults.

Habitat and range – The Purple Gallinules prefer to inhabit freshwater marshes with dense vegetation growing nearby. These birds are permanent inhabitants in the southern parts of Florida, the pacific coast of Mexico, the Caribbean, and parts of Central America. You can also find them in the south-eastern states of the United States in the summers.

Feeding habits – Although Purple Gallinules are omnivores, they prefer plant materials over animals. Their diet includes water lily, lotus, hydrilla, hyacinth, rice, etc.

 

Stellar’s Jay

Stellar’s Jay

Scientific name – Cyanocitta stelleri
Body length – 30-34 centimeters (12-13 inches)
Weight – 100-140 grams (3.5-4.9 ounces)
Wingspan – about 47.5 centimeters (19 inches)
Lifespan – about 11-16 years
Diet – omnivore
Conservation status – least concern

The Stellar’s Jays are medium-sized birds that are endemic to the western part of North America.

Description – The Stellar’s Jays display very little sexual dimorphism, with both sexes looking almost alike. The color of their head varies with the changing latitude, ranging from black to brown to dark blue.

However, the rest of their body is always lighter in shade than their head, acquiring a silvery blue shade on their shoulders and breast. Their wings and tail are colored in a rich shade of blue, covered with dark streaks all over them.

Habitat and range – Stellar’s Jays prefer to make their nest in the coniferous forests and are found in the thickly forested areas, such as the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains, southern Alaska, and northern Nicaragua. These birds are also found in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and northern El Salvador. You can also find them in agricultural as well as residential areas, as long as there are forests nearby.

Feeding habits – Being omnivores, the Stellar’s Jays consume two-third of seeds, berries, nuts, and fruits, while the rest of their diet consists of animal matter. They forage both on the trees as well as on the ground.

 

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

Scientific name – Sialia currucoides
Body length – 15.5-18 centimeters (6.1-7.1 inches)
Weight – 24-37 grams (0.85-1.31 ounces)
Wingspan – 28-36 centimeters (11-14.2 inches)
Lifespan – about 4 to 6 years
Diet – omnivore
Conservation status – least concern

The Mountain Bluebirds are small members of the Thrush family that are found in the Americas.

Description – Although both sexes of the Mountain BluebirdsOpens in a new tab. are similar in size, they display sexual dimorphism in the color of their plumage. The adult males have bright turquoise-blue upperparts coupled with light blue underparts with a white lower belly. On the other hand, the adult females have dull blue wings and tail, and grey throat, crown, breast, and back.

Habitat and range – The Mountain Bluebirds have a habit of nesting in nest boxes as well as the pre-existing cavities. They inhabit the open country areas and are found in the western parts of North America, including the mountain ranges of the region.

Feeding habits – Insects and berries make up a large portion of the Mountain Bluebird’s diet. You can also attract them to your feeder using peanuts.

 

Blue Jay

Blue Jay

Scientific name – Cyanocitta cristata
Body length – 22-30 centimeters (9-12 inches)
Weight – about 70-100 grams (2.5-3.5 ounces)
Wingspan – 34-43 centimeters (13-17 inches)
Lifespan – about 7 years
Diet – omnivore
Conservation status – least concern

Belonging to the family of the oscine passerine birds, the Blue Jays are endemic to the eastern regions of North America.

Description – The Blue Jays display very little sexual dimorphism, with both the sexes appearing somewhat alike, only the males being larger in size than their female counterparts. Although they have a white face, their crest, back, wings, and tail are covered in the shade of lavender blue. They have a black collared neck that extends on both sides of their head, with off-white underparts. Their bills, legs, and eyes are black in color.

Habitat and range – The Blue Jays prefer to nest mainly in the spruce-fir forests and pine woods. Occasionally, they also nest in mixed woodlands of beeches and oaks. These birds’ habitat range spreads far and wide, from southern Canada, across the eastern and central regions of the United States, to north-eastern Texas and Florida.

Feeding habits – The bills of the Blue Jays are very sturdy and come in handy when these birds crack nuts. They forage both on the ground and the trees, eating small invertebrates, acorns, grains, fruits, weed seeds, peanuts, berries, etc.

 

Cerulean Warbler

Cerulean Warbler

Scientific name – Setophaga Cerulea
Body length – about 11 centimeters (4.3 inches)
Weight – 8-10 grams (0.28-0.31 ounces)
Wingspan – about 20 centimeters (7.9 inches)
Lifespan – about 5 years
Diet – insectivore
Conservation status – near threatened

The Cerulean Warblers are small songbirds that belong to the family of the New World Warblers.

Description – All the Cerulean Warblers have distinctive wing bars and a thin but pointed bill. These birds display a strong sexual dimorphism, wherein the upper parts of the adult males are colored in white and pale cerulean blue, with their underparts colored in a paler shade. On their throat is a prominent black necklace.

They also have black streaks on their back as well as flanks. On the other hand, the adult females have upperparts ranging from grey to greenish in color, with no streaks on their back or neck. They also have a tin, pale stripe over their eyes.

Habitat and range – The Cerulean Warblers are migratory birds that inhabit the mature deciduous forests in the eastern parts of North America in their breeding season, while during the winters, they migrate to the forested mountains of South America.

Feeding habits – The Cerulean Warblers are primarily insect-eating birds that actively forage in the high branches of trees in order to catch flying insects.

 

Blue birds in Colorado (summing it up)

Blue, being the color of the sky itself, is the color of serenity. All the blue-colored birds found in Colorado are small in size, belonging to either the family of Jays, Bluebirds, Warblers, Rails, or Grosbeaks. The next time you witness one of these little blue birds flying overhead, you will know exactly which one it is.