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:
Song is an abrupt cher cherlee cherb.

Distribution:
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.

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

Diet:
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.

Ecology:
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.

Reproduction:
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).

Conservation:
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.