Blue Birds in Arizona: The Complete List + Photos for Fast & Accurate ID

Inside: The complete list of blue birds (blue colored birds) in Arizona including a full-color photo of each blue bird, details about their habitat, diet, appearance, nesting habits, and a range map to show you where in the state you may see them.

There’s something about spotting a blue bird (a blue-colored bird to be more exact) in your yard that gets your heart pumping. Luckily there are plenty of types of blue-colored birds across Arizona so your chances of seeing one are very good.

With more than 20 years of experience attracting backyard birds to my yard I’ve seen every blue-colored bird species in my area (Wisconsin) and acquired a lot of knowledge about these blue birds. For those species that are outside my area, I have my trusty sourcebooks and friends at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology to guide me.

I’ll never forget my first blue-colored bird spotting – which I later learned was an Indigo Bunting! You’d have thought I’d seen Elvis in my backyard. I screamed “blue bird, blue bird” and ran around my house like a lunatic looking for my camera. It was still there when I returned, but not for long. I looked him up in my guide book and there he was in all his royal blue glory. Breathtaking.

My hope is that you’ll be able to easily identify the blue bird you saw or plan to see in my article. Here you’ll find all types of wild blue birds (species) found in Arizona. They could be all blue or blue with a secondary color. They could be tiny blue birds, small blue birds, large blue birds, bright blue birds, dark blue birds, and light blue birds – all variations are here!

The range maps are color-coded so you know if it’s a year-round bird, there to breed, migrating through, or there during a nonbreeding time.

range map color coded key

I also included a closeup photo of each blue bird to help you identify them quickly along with detail about them such as:

  • Size & appearance description
  • Diet in the wild and at the bird feeder
  • Habitat
  • Nest & eggs description

So let’s get at it, here are the blue-colored birds in Arizona.

Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow
Barn Swallow. Photo by Lisa Minica.
Appearance7″ long, steel blue glossy on top, chestnut forehead and throat, and rust-orange underparts. Long forked tail with a white base. The female’s coloring is lighter and the tail shorter.
DietInsects, preferably beetles, wasps, and flies. Drinks by skimming the surface of the water.
Feeder FoodNot likely to visit a feeder.
HabitatOpen fields and pastures.
NestingTypically nests in or on a manmade structure such as a barn. Builds nests of mud. 2 broods/season, 4-5 eggs per brood, eggs are white with brown markings, incubation from 13-17 days.

Range Map

barn swallow range map
Barn swallow range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Belted Kingfisher

Belted kingfisher on a perch
Belted kingfisher. Image by Katherine Durtnell from Pixabay
AppearanceLarge 13″ long bird with a large head, long bill, and stocky body.  Blue/gray throughout with white ring around neck and white chest. Female is same but with additional chestnut band on chest.
DietMostly fish with some crustaceans, insects, amphibians, reptiles, young birds, small mammals, and berries.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to come to the feeder but often attracted to yards with streams or ponds.
HabitatNear streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, and calm marine waters – especially unclouded water with little vegetation.
NestingDig burrows along waters edge. 1-2 broods/season, 5-8 eggs/brood – large white glossy eggs (1.5″ long), 22-24 days incubation.

Range Map

belted kingfisher range map
Belted kingfisher range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Blue Grosbeak

Blue Grosbeak
Blue Grosbeak. Photo by Donna Cooper.
Appearance8″ long, large, bright blue, large silver bill, and chestnut wingbars, Female’s primary color is light cinnamon with darker colored wings.
DietInsects, seeds, and grains.
Feeder FoodGrain and birdseed.
HabitatThick shrubbery and areas with tall trees.
NestingSmall cup-shaped nest of twigs and miscellaneous organic materials, 1-2 broods/season, 3-5 eggs/brood, pale-blue eggs about .8-.9″ long, 12-13 days incubation.

Range Map

blue grosbeak range map
Blue grosbeak range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher. Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash
AppearanceTiny birds 4.25″ long, soft blue/gray upper parts, white eye ring, white underparts, long black long tail with white under. Females are the same. Breeding male is accented with narrow black eyebrow.
DietInsects and spiders.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit the feeder.
HabitatDeciduous forested areas.
NestingTidy cup-shaped nest of natural fibers, bark, and spiderweb about 3-80′ high in a tree or shrub. 1-2 broods/season, 3-5 eggs/brood, eggs are pale blue with red/brown spots. 11-15 days incubation, young fledge at about 10-15 days.

Range Map

Blue gray gnatcatcher range map
Blue gray gnatcatcher range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Eastern Bluebird

Male eastern bluebird
Male eastern bluebird. Photo by Mike Carmo.
Appearance7″ long, royal blue, orange throat & breast, white belly & undertail. Female is similar but more muted colors
DietInsects & spiders in spring/summer. Small fruit in Fall/Winter. 
Feeder FoodSuet, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, jelly. 
HabitatWide open spaces, fields, meadow.
NestingCavity nesters, 2-4 broods/season, on average 4-5 eggs/brood, pale blue eggs (sometimes white). 

Range Map

US map showing the migration range of the eastern bluebird
Map depicting where Eastern bluebirds can be found throughout the year. Compliments of Cornell University.

For more details about the Eastern Bluebird such as its mating & nesting, how to attract them to your yard, and more: check out 9 Proven Ways to Attract Eastern Bluebirds.


Lazuli Bunting

Lazuli Bunting
Lazuli Bunting. Photo taken at the Powell Butte Nature Park in Portland, taken by Patti Bright.
AppearanceSmall bird 5-6″ long, brilliant blue on top, soft orange-cinnamon color chest, white belly and patch on shoulder, cone-shaped bill and slightly flat forehead.
DietInsects, fruits, and grasses.
Feeder FoodWhite proso millet, sunflower seeds, or nyjer thistle seeds.
HabitatOpen woodlands, brushy hillsides, thickets, and backyards throughout the West.
NestingCup-shaped nest of bark, twigs, and leaves nestled in a shrub about 3′ up. xx . 1-2 broods/season, 3-4 eggs/brood, eggs are .7-.8″ long and pale blue to faint green/blue or white. 11-14 days incubation period.

Range Map

Lazuli bunting range map.
Lazuli bunting range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Mexican Jay

Mexican Jay
Mexican Jay. Photo by Carl Bendorf.
Appearance11.5″ long, large blue bird with gray/blue back, soft white underparts and long tail.
DietAcorns, pinyon nuts, insects, spiders and lizards.
Feeder FoodN/A
HabitatOpen woodlands near pinyon and oak trees.
NestingCup-shaped nest of twigs located tree. 1-6 eggs, eggs are green with dark markings but some have no markings.

Range Map

Mexican jay range map.
Mexican jay range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird
Mountain Bluebird. Photo by Arnold Joe.
AppearanceSmall bird about 7″ long. Sky-blue color, darker blue wings and tail, lighter shades of below underneath, white undertail with with black wing tips, and straight thin bill. Females are gray/brown with a big of soft blue on wings and tail.
DietInsects, fruit, and seeds.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatOpen woodlands, fields, prairies.
NestingCavity nesters – will use old woodpecker hold or manmade nesting box. 1-2 broods/season, 4-8 eggs/brood, eggs are .8-1″ long and pale blue to bluish white (rarely pure white), 18-21 days for incubation.

Range Map

Mountain bluebird range map.
Mountain bluebird range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Pinyon Jay

Pinyon Jay
Pinyon Jay. Photo by Tom Duncan.
Appearance10-11″ long bird, dusty blue body and lighter blue belly and throat, short tail, and no crown. The female looks similar.
DietPrimarily Pinyon-pine seeds, acorns, fruit, and grains. Also consumes insects, lizards, snakes, nestling birds, and small mammals.
Feeder FoodWhole peanuts, sunflower seeds, suet, cracked corn.
HabitatForested areas comprised of Pinyon-juniper, sagebrush, scrub oak, and other pine trees.
NestingLarge bulky nests of sticks and twigs in the trees about 3-115′ up. 1 brood/season, 2-5 eggs/brood, eggs are 1.3-1.5″ long, pale blue with dark brown specks, incubation last 17 days and young fledge between 21-22 days.

Range Map

Pinyon jay range map
Pinyon jay range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Red-Breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted nuthatch on a suet cage
Red-breasted nuthatch. Photo by Robert Heyer.
Appearance4.5″ long, gray/blue backs, white head with black stripes running over either eye, orange-cinnamon-colored breast, and a pointy pick-like beak. Females look the same except their underside is a more faded color. Usually spotted climbing upside-down a deciduous tree foraging for insects beneath the bark.
DietInsects, spiders, and other bugs.
Feeder FoodSuet, sunflower seeds, shelled peanuts, fruit.
HabitatForested areas primarily comprised of coniferous trees (i.e. pines). Woodsy areas of deciduous trees in the east. Southern birds prefer mountainous regions until winter comes in which case they head to lower land.
NestingCavity nesters – prefer to excavate their own holes. 1 brood/season, 6 eggs/brood, eggs are white & speckled with red-brown.

Range Map

Map of the red-breasted nuthatch range
Red-breasted nuthatch range. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

For more details about the Red-Breasted Nuthatch such as its mating & nesting details, how to attract them to your yard, and more: check out 7 Ways to Attract Red Breasted Nuthatches to Your Yard.


Rock Pigeon

Rock Pigeon
Rock Pigeon. Photo by Kieran Somerville on Unsplash
AppearanceLarge bird 12-14″ long, chubby with blue/gray wings with black pointy tips, short red legs, black, round wide tail, and iridescent neck. 
DietGrains, seeds, and fruit. Commonly seen scavenging trash cans for food.
Feeder FoodMillet, cracked corn, black-oil sunflower seed, safflower, peanut hearts.
HabitatCommon around cities and towns as well as farmlands
NestingA large nest of sticks and grass wherever there’s a ledge (e.g. highway overpass, barns, bridges, tall buildings). 1-6 broods/year, 1-3 eggs/brood, eggs are white, incubation about 18 days and the young fledge at about 25-32 days.

Range Map

Rock pigeon jay range map.
Rock pigeon jay range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Stellar’s Jay

Stellar's Jay
Stellar’s Jay. Photo by Barbara Ferraro.
AppearanceLarge bird 11.5″ long, dark blue body and crest, black head and crest with spots of blue. Females are similar.
DietNuts, seeds, fruits, insects, other birds’ eggs and nestlings, small animals.
Feeder FoodWhole peanuts, sunflower seeds, and suet.
HabitatTypically found in forested areas of mix tree types – coniferous and deciduous.
NestingLarge open-cup nest of twigs, bark and mud located high in a conifer tree. 1 brood/season, 4-5 eggs/brood, eggs are blue/green with dark brown/purple/olive spots, 16-18 days incubation and the young fledges at about 16-18 days.

Range Map

stellars jay range map
Stellar’s jay range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow
Tree Swallow. Photo by Lisa Minica.
Appearance5-6″ long, dark metallic blue – blue/green with white belly, notched tail and pointed wing tips. Females have same coloring but a bit duller.
DietInsects and small fruits.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatOpen areas such as fields, large lawns, and marshes.
NestingCavity nester, will use a manmade nest box or natural woodpecker tree hold. 1 brood/season, 4-6 white eggs, 13-16 days of incubation.

Range Map

Tree swallow range map.
Tree swallow range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

White-Breasted Nuthatch

White-Breasted Nuthatch
White-Breasted Nuthatch. Photo by Shawn Conlon.
Appearance5-6″ long, gray/blue back, white head with a black cap, chestnut under the tail, and a long thin pick-like beak. Females look similar except their cap and neck are gray. Usually spotted climbing upside-down a deciduous tree foraging for insects beneath the bark.
DietInsects & seeds.
Feeder FoodSuet, sunflower seed, shelled peanuts.
HabitatNear mature deciduous and mixed forests; wooded suburban areas such as orchards, parks, and backyards.
NestingCavity nester, 1 brood/season, 5-9 eggs/brood, eggs are white with brown markings, incubation is 11-12 days and young fledge at about 13-14 days.

Range Map

White breasted nuthatch range map
White breasted nuthatch range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.

With so many blue-colored birds in Arizona it’s no surprise one caught your eye. Hopefully, you’ve identified the blue bird in this article or just broadened your knowledge of blue birds in Arizona! If you love that birds consider attracting more of them.

Happy Birding!