Three species of bluebirds – eastern, western, and mountain – make their homes in Texas during various times of the year. All of them are close in size, 6-1/2 to 7-1/2 inches, and weigh about one ounce. Most common and widespread is the eastern bluebird, Sialia sialis.
Male bluebirds have a bright head, back, and wings. Their breast is a brownish red. Females are lighter with gray on the head and back and some blue on their wings and tail. In females, the breast is usually lighter in color than in males, and is more orange.
|Appearance||Small bird 5-6″ long, brilliant blue on top, soft orange-cinnamon color chest, white belly and patch on the shoulder, cone-shaped bill, and slightly flat forehead.|
|Habitat||Open woodlands, brushy hillsides, thickets, and backyards throughout the West.|
Eastern Bluebirds breed in the eastern half of Texas, the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Bluebirds move to the southern end of their range during the winter. Bluebirds have long been thought to be a lucky sign by humans. Bluebirds are native only to North America and have been cherished throughout Texas’ history.
Male Eastern Bluebirds are vivid, deep blue above and rusty or brick-red on the throat and breast.
Juveniles are grayish-brown with a speckled white breast and a tinge of blue on wings and tail. Description: The Western Bluebird sports a deep purple-blue throat and upper parts with a chestnut-colored breast, sides, and flanks. The belly and undertail coverts are grayish.
There are THREE different kinds of bluebirds in North America, including the Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis), Western Bluebird, and Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides). All are the same size with similar physical characteristics other than their color distribution.
Blue Jays. Much larger than Eastern bluebirds, blue jays measure 11 to 12 inches. Like the bluebirds, they have blue backs, but also look for a gray breast, robust bill, and a crest, or pointy tuft of head feathers. Males and females are nearly identical.
Bluejays are much larger than bluebirds, commonly growing to 10-12 inches. Bluejays have large, strong beaks – which they use to feed on nuts, seeds and acorns. Bluejays are much louder and more aggressive than most birds. Bluejays don’t migrate and are commonly found in the eastern region of North America.
Examples of birds that look like blue jays include belted kingfisher, black-throated blue warbler, blue grosbeak, blue-gray tanager, and California scrub-jay. There are many different types of birds in the world, and although they all look unique, some of them can be mistaken for other types of birds.
Some believe the bluebird is a symbol of joy and hope; others, that good news will be arriving soon. Others still think that bluebirds represent a connection between the living and those who have passed away.
The Blue Grosbeak
This bird, which shares a family, Cardinalidae, with the cardinal, is often misinterpreted as a blue cardinal. In reality, they are a different bird entirely. However, they are quite blue.
This is the best way to distinguish a Western Bluebird from an Eastern Bluebird. If you see a blue throat, it’s a Western Bluebird, and if you see a reddish-brown throat, it’s an Eastern Bluebird. While bluebird males are usually bright blue, the females are usually a little bit more muted in color.
Eastern Bluebird Habitat and Distribution
Their overall range extends throughout eastern North America, including southern Canada and central Mexico. These bluebirds are rare but regularly seen in western Texas, North Dakota, South Dakota, western Nebraska and western Kansas.
Blue jays are generally nonmigratory and are found throughout the eastern half of Texas, the U.S. and Canada. They have been expanding their range westward in urban and suburban areas due to habitat modification by humans.
You might wonder, given the wide variety of colorful cardinals that exist, “Are there blue cardinals out there?” Turns out, the answer is no. However, there are many keen bird enthusiasts out there who have claimed time and time again, that they spotted a gorgeous Blue Cardinal.
Basic Description. Bursting with black, white, and rose-red, male Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are like an exclamation mark at your bird feeder or in your binoculars. Females and immatures are streaked brown and white with a bold face pattern and enormous bill. Look for these birds in forest edges and woodlands.
The key to attracting Eastern Bluebirds to nest in your yard is to have plenty of potential nesting locations, food and water. Bluebirds do prefer more open area so if your yard is heavily wooded you’ll enjoy many other nesting birds, but probably not bluebirds.
A bluebird house mounted directly below a tree or on a fence is an invitation to predators, many of which can easily gain access to the house. A pole mounted in a regularly mowed lawn away from bushes and other brush, however, makes snakes think twice before they attempt to reach a bluebird house at the pole’s top.
Naturally occurring aggression between female eastern bluebirds (Sialia sialis) is dramatic, resulting in severe injuries and even death. Furthermore, aggression among bluebirds is usually sex specific: males attack males, females attack females.
The presence of a blue jay in one’s home or yard is considered a sign of good fortune by many Christians. A blue jay’s Christian symbolism advises you to persevere, no matter how difficult the road ahead may be. Sometimes, people encounter a situation that they can’t control.
These birds are a symbol of confidence, clarity, vibrancy, and intellect. If you see a blue jay, the most common interpretation of its visit means you are a loyal and trustworthy person. You may notice them more often in times of self-doubt. The blue jay’s sense of creativity is also one of the more common beliefs.
Blue Jays are most likely to attack other birds around a food source. This can be around bird feeders but they may also defend bird baths or their nest. As opportunistic omnivores, Blue Jays may eat other birds eggs or fledglings but this is not common behavior. They prefer seeds, nuts and insects.
Bluebirds are very beneficial birds, as they consume large amounts of insects. Bluebirds used to be very common, but loss of habitat, pesticides and predators have taken their toll on these beautiful creatures.
“Bluebirds are actually very adaptable. They do accept humans around them.