Eastern Bluebird

Sialia sialis

The Eastern Bluebird is moving west! Formerly, this bird kept its haunts east of the Mississippi River, but fire suppression and tree planting has influenced a slow move to the west. Today in the USA we can find these birds as far west as the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. These birds thrive in open country with few trees, especially if there are enough nest cavities available. Invasive species such as House Sparrows and European Starlings are a threat to the nesting success of bluebirds, as they are more aggressive than native birds who depend on woodpecker holes and other cavities.

Science recognises seven subspecies of Eastern Bluebirds, but in most of the USA, only the race S. s. sialis makes it summer homes here. Mexico’s S. s. Fulva will sometimes cross the border into southern Arizona to breed. Other subspecies make their homes in Bermuda, Mexico, and Central America. To date, all my meetings with these birds have been in New Mexico.

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