6-7" (15-18 cm). Male has blue hood, wings, tail, and rump with chestnut breast, flanks, 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; buff 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 insectivorous. 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.
|Status:||Protected nongame species|
Saab, V.A. and J. Dudley. 1995. Nest usurpation and cavity use by Lewis' Woodpecker. USDA Forest Service Inter. Res. Sta. Rep., Boise. 13pp.