The Male Mountain Bluebird Sialia currucoides has to be among myk favorite bird plumages. Photographs just cannot do true justice to the color of blue on this male bird.
Mountain bluebirds are in the thrush family, and feed primarily close to the ground on insects and other invertebrates. The female is a much more subdued grayish blue than the male, but is otherwise similar. Mountain bluebirds, as the name implies, tend to breed at higher elevations than the other two North American bluebirds, the Eastern and Western Bluebirds, and are only found in the western half of the country.
Like the other bluebirds, they return to their breeding grounds fairly early in the year, probably to find and protect their nest cavity.
Mountain Bluebirds have adapted really well to man-made nest boxes, and are often found in areas of "bluebird trails", a method of placing nest boxes with entry holes just large enough to allow bluebirds entry, but not allowing competing introduced European Starlings and House Sparrows to fit through the hole.
What is your opinion of the male Mountain Bluebird? Are you a bluebird lover too?