Types of Blue Birds in Wisconsin
Wisconsin is home to a diverse range of bird species, including several stunning blue birds. These birds not only add a splash of color to the state's landscape but also bring joy to birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike. In this article, we will explore the different types of blue birds that can be found in Wisconsin, highlighting their unique characteristics and habitats.
The Eastern Bluebird
The Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) is one of the most iconic blue birds in North America, including Wisconsin. Known for its vibrant blue feathers and rusty-red breast, this species is a common sight in open woodlands, farmlands, and suburban areas. Eastern Bluebirds prefer open habitats with scattered trees, where they can easily spot their insect prey.
The Mountain Bluebird
The Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides) is a stunning blue bird species that can occasionally be spotted in Wisconsin. Unlike the Eastern Bluebird, the Mountain Bluebird has a lighter blue coloration with a pale blue throat and white underparts. It typically resides in open grasslands and meadows, often nesting in cavities in trees or fence posts.
The Indigo Bunting
The Indigo Bunting (Passerina cyanea) is another blue bird species that can be found in Wisconsin. While not exclusively blue, the male Indigo Bunting boasts a brilliant blue plumage that is truly captivating. These birds are often found in brushy areas, woodland edges, and along streams. They are known for their melodic songs, which add a musical touch to Wisconsin's natural symphony.
The Blue Jay
The Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) is a familiar sight in many Wisconsin neighborhoods. While not entirely blue, the Blue Jay features striking blue feathers on its wings and tail, making it worthy of inclusion in this list. These birds are known for their raucous calls and can often be seen hopping around on lawns or perched on tree branches. Blue Jays are also known to visit bird feeders, offering birdwatchers a chance to observe them up close.
The Western Bluebird
Although less commonly seen in Wisconsin, the Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) is occasionally spotted in the western parts of the state. This species has a vibrant blue coloration similar to the Eastern Bluebird, but with a more pronounced red-orange breast. Western Bluebirds are typically found in open woodlands and grassy areas, often nesting in tree cavities or bird boxes.
The Lazuli Bunting
Similar in appearance to the Indigo Bunting, the Lazuli Bunting (Passerina amoena) is known for its stunning blue plumage. Found in Wisconsin's grasslands, shrubby areas, and forest edges, these birds bring a touch of elegance to the state's avian population. Male Lazuli Buntings have a vibrant blue head and back, with contrasting white underparts, while females have a more subdued combination of brown and blue.
The Cerulean Warbler
The Cerulean Warbler (Setophaga cerulea) is a small songbird that can be found in the hardwood forests of Wisconsin. While not entirely blue, the male Cerulean Warbler has a beautiful sky-blue coloration on its back and wings. These birds are known for their high-pitched songs and agile flight, often flitting through the treetops in search of insects.
The Florida Scrub-Jay
Although primarily found in Florida, the Florida Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) has been known to make occasional appearances in Wisconsin. This blue bird species features a vibrant blue plumage with grayish underparts. Florida Scrub-Jays prefer scrubby, sandy habitats, making their presence in Wisconsin a rare and exciting sight for birdwatchers.
The Stellar's Jay
The Stellar's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) is not a native blue bird species of Wisconsin, but it can sometimes be seen in the state's northern regions. This bird has a striking blue body, black head, and prominent crest on its head. Stellar's Jays are known for their intelligence and mimicry skills, often imitating the calls of other birds.
The Blue Grosbeak
The Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea) is a migratory bird species that occasionally visits Wisconsin during the summer months. The male Blue Grosbeak boasts a vibrant blue plumage with a large, conical bill. It can be found in brushy habitats, including open fields, meadows, and woodland edges. The Blue Grosbeak's distinctive call adds a touch of wilderness to Wisconsin's bird chorus.
The Varied Bunting
The Varied Bunting (Passerina versicolor) is a species rarely seen in Wisconsin, as it primarily inhabits the southwestern United States and Mexico. However, there have been a few recorded sightings of these stunning blue birds in the state. The male Varied Bunting exhibits a vibrant blue coloration with orange underparts, creating a striking contrast. These birds prefer arid habitats, such as desert edges and scrublands.
The Black-throated Blue Warbler
Although not a resident bird in Wisconsin, the Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens) can be spotted during its migration periods. This small songbird features a striking combination of blue plumage on its upperparts and white underparts. Black-throated Blue Warblers prefer dense deciduous forests, often foraging for insects high up in the tree canopies.
The Blue-winged Warbler
The Blue-winged Warbler (Vermivora cyanoptera) is a small songbird that occasionally visits Wisconsin during its breeding season. This species has a vibrant blue wing patch, contrasting with its yellow underparts. Blue-winged Warblers are often found in shrubby habitats near wetlands, where they sing their distinctive songs to attract mates.
The Painted Bunting
The Painted Bunting (Passerina ciris) is an incredibly vibrant blue bird species that rarely makes appearances in Wisconsin. With a combination of blue, green, and red plumage, the male Painted Bunting is a true spectacle to behold. These birds inhabit brushy areas, thickets, and woodland edges in their native southeastern United States range.
The Violet-green Swallow
The Violet-green Swallow (Tachycineta thalassina) is a species that occasionally visits Wisconsin during its migration periods. These birds have a distinctive blue-green back and white underparts. Violet-green Swallows are skilled aerial acrobats, often seen swooping and gliding through the air as they catch insects on the wing.
The Blue-black Grosbeak
The Blue-black Grosbeak (Cyanoloxia cyanoides) is a species native to South America but has been recorded in Wisconsin as a rare visitor. This blue bird species has a deep blue coloration with black wings and tail. Blue-black Grosbeaks prefer forest edges, open woodlands, and grassy areas.
The Blue-footed Booby
The Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) is an oceanic bird species that is not native to Wisconsin. However, it is worth mentioning due to its intriguing blue feet. These birds are primarily found in the Pacific Ocean, particularly along the coasts of Central and South America. The Blue-footed Booby's unique foot coloration plays a crucial role in courtship displays.
The Blue-headed Vireo
The Blue-headed Vireo (Vireo solitarius) is a small songbird that occasionally visits Wisconsin during its migration periods. This species has a blue-gray head and back, with a white underbelly. Blue-headed Vireos are typically found in coniferous forests, where they sing their melodic songs from high perches.
The Blue-throated Macaw
The Blue-throated Macaw (Ara glaucogularis) is a critically endangered parrot species native to Bolivia, but it is not found in Wisconsin. However, its vibrant blue feathers and distinctive blue throat make it worth mentioning. The Blue-throated Macaw resides in palm savannas and feeds on palm nuts, playing a vital role in seed dispersal.
Wisconsin offers a diverse range of blue bird species, each with its unique colors, habitats, and behaviors. Whether you spot the striking Eastern Bluebird or catch a glimpse of a rare visitor like the Varied Bunting, these blue birds add a touch of beauty and wonder to the state's natural landscape. So grab your binoculars, head out into the great outdoors, and keep an eye out for these magnificent blue feathered friends.