Bluebird and Small Cavity Nester Conservation
Sialis - Bluebirds and other small cavity nesters


Weird Coloration
Female bluebird with blue on chest.  Photo by Bet ZimmermanFemale EABL with weird coloration.  Photo by Bet Zimmerman

Female EABL in northeastern CT on August 15, 2004 (getting mealworms for young that fledged around August 10th.) The female may be a bit wet as this is after a rain storm.

This coloration is probably from molting. The blue areas appear to be larger than when I saw her several weeks ago. I have not seen this coloration on any other bluebirds in the area. Later in the season (October) I think the same female was back to "normal."

Bob Moul (wildlife photographer in Adams County, Pennsylvania) posted a photo online dated June '04 of a female with similar coloration, as did Cherie Layton. Both photos were taking during the period when bluebirds are molting.

The coloring on individual bluebirds may vary. The brick red coloring on the belly may be high or low, and straight, or curved in the shape of an upside-down "U". I have seen some males that almost look like they have a red band around their necks.

But no blue, not even the brightest summer sky, seems as blue as the bluebirds of spring.
- Ron Hirschi

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May all your blues be birds!

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