Bird of the Week – Mountain Bluebird

Okay, Enough ducks already. Let’s look at a thrush. WC isn’t sure Mountain Bluebirds breed in Alaska every year; they seem to come and go. But it sure is a treat when you find one.

Mountain Bluebird, Delta Barley Project

Mountain Bluebird, Delta Barley Project

Birds of North America says,

The Mountain Bluebird is one of the most sublime of all North American passerines. Like other North American bluebirds, it is beautiful, bold, and charismatic, with a dedicated human following. Indeed, many people view bluebirds as emblematic species representing all that is good in the world.

The truth is a little less bluebird-like. The species thrives in areas of human disturbance. It happily accepts nest boxes, the only North American thrush to use a cavity instead of an open nest. Uniquely among thrushes, it can hover, and prefers bugs more than other thrushes. Where there aren’t manmade boxes available, Mountain Bluebirds nest in woodpecker cavities. Which may be why WC has seen them in old forest fire burns.

But it sure is a treat to see that electric blue in your binoculars. WC has spotted them in the Delta Junction area and even in Denali National Park (although the sighting wasn’t accepted as proof the species occurs there).

Bird geek stuff: f6.3, 1/500, ISO250.

For more bird photos, please visit Frozen Feather Images.