About six inches long. Rich azure blue head,
neck, back, rump and tail. Reddish brown breast, flanks and a purplish chestnut patch on
the upper back. Grayish blue belly. Black beak and eyes.
Western Bluebirds inhabit forest edges, groves and small
tree stands, open country, farms and towns in western North America in the Rocky Mountains
from British Columbia, all along the Pacific Coast and the arid Southwest, to southern
Mexico, overlapping the Mountain Bluebird range.
Builds nests of sticks, grass, rubbish and feathers in natural or
abandoned tree and post hollows, abandoned mud nests of cliff swallows, between tree
trunks and their loose bark, barns, cabins and odd building nooks and crannies and
Lays four to six bluish white eggs which hatch after about two weeks incubation and
young leave the nest in about another three weeks.
Forage for beetles, spiders, caterpillars and grasshoppers. They also eat berries and
other odd fruit.
The Western Bluebird Birdhouse (same as for Mountain Bluebird) has a 5" by
5" floor, 9" inside ceiling, 1 9/16" diameter entrance hole located 7"
above the floor and ventilation openings. Hinged roof is secured with
Mount bluebird houses 3� - 6� high on a post in woodland clearings,
shelter belt edges bordering fields, among scattered trees, or pasture
Western & Mountain Bluebird
Nest Box Plans
English sparrows, tree swallows, violet green swallows, titmice, wrens,
chickadees, nuthatches and downy woodpeckers may use this box.
Make a "bluebird trail" of several houses about 100 yards apart;
further in wide open expanses and closer in clearings of wooded areas.
On fence lines mount houses on the sides of posts facing the next post. The recessed
position helps avoid cattle or other large animals that like to rub against them. Monitor
the boxes for unwanted squatters. Deter predators with steel posts or sheet metal wrapped
around wood posts. Avoid shade, but also avoid direct sunlight through the
entrance if possible.
Tree Swallows and Violet Green Swallows make good neighbors and will
help defend against sparrows. See their birdhouse plans below.