Inside: A complete guide to blue birds in North Carolina including a full-color photo of each blue bird, details about habitat, diet – including feeder food they’ll eat, appearance, nesting habits, and a range map to show you where in the state you can expect to see them.
You spotted a blue-colored bird in North Carolina. The next step is to identify it. I got you!
With more than 20 years of experience attracting backyard birds to my yard (Wisconsin), I’ve studied all of the blue-colored birds in my area so I have the information you’re looking for. For the remaining blue-colored bird species, I rely on 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.
- All Variations Of Blue Birds In North Carolina Are Included
- Blue-Colored Birds In North Carolina
All Variations Of Blue Birds In North Carolina Are Included
This article includes blue-colored wild bird species in North Carolina that range in size from tiny & small to large. The bird could be all blue or partly blue with a secondary color. They could be bright blue birds, dark blue birds, or light blue birds – all variations are here!
Some blue-colored birds live in North Carolina year-round, others are here to breed, and others are migrating through. 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.
I also included a beautiful photo to help you identify these blue beauties along with detail such as:
- Size + appearance description
- Diet in the wild and at the feeder
- Nest & eggs description
- Range map
My hope is that this article will help you easily identify the blue bird you saw or plan to see one day. So let’s get at it, here are the blue-colored birds in North Carolina:
Blue-Colored Birds In North Carolina
|Appearance||7″ 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.|
|Diet||Insects, preferably beetles, wasps, and flies. Drinks by skimming the surface of the water.|
|Feeder Food||Not likely to visit a feeder.|
|Habitat||Open fields and pastures.|
|Nesting||Typically 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.|
|Appearance||Large 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.|
|Diet||Mostly fish with some crustaceans, insects, amphibians, reptiles, young birds, small mammals, and berries.|
|Feeder Food||Unlikely to come to the feeder but often attracted to yards with streams or ponds.|
|Habitat||Near streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, and calm marine waters – especially unclouded water with little vegetation.|
|Nesting||Dig burrows along waters edge. 1-2 broods/season, 5-8 eggs/brood – large white glossy eggs (1.5″ long), 22-24 days incubation.|
|Appearance||5″ long, midnight/steel blue back, black throat, white belly|
|Diet||Insects and fruit.|
|Feeder Food||Suet, peanut butter, and nectar.|
|Habitat||Prefer mature deciduous and mixed evergreen woodlands with plenty of thick shrubs.|
|Nesting||Cup-shaped nest in shrub made of bark and spider webs. 1-3 broods/season, 2-5 eggs/brood, eggs are small .6″-.8″, creamy white and speckled. 12-13 days incubation and fledges at x|
|Appearance||8″ long, large, bright blue, large silver bill, and chestnut wingbars, Female’s primary color is light cinnamon with darker colored wings.|
|Diet||Insects, seeds, and grains.|
|Feeder Food||Grain and birdseed.|
|Habitat||Thick shrubbery and areas with tall trees.|
|Nesting||Nest: Small cup-shaped nest of twigs and miscellaneous organic materials resting in low-lying trees, shrubs, and bushes.|
Brood: 1-2 broods/season
Clutch: 3-5 eggs/brood
Egg color: Pale blue to white with occasional brown spots
Egg size: 0.8 inches by 0.7 inches
Incubation: 12-13 days incubation.
|Appearance||Large bird 12″ long, medium blue & white body, blue crest (which he flattens at will), gray belly and white face. White & blue wings with black spots. Female look the same.|
|Diet||Insects, fruit, seeds, nuts, other birds’ eggs and nestlings.|
|Feeder Food||Whole peanuts, sunflower seeds, and cracked corn.|
|Habitat||Forested areas with mixed trees types. Also common in suburbs and urban areas.|
|Nesting||Nest: bulky large nest made from twigs, bark, and mud resting on a tree branch about 5-50′ up. |
Broods: 1-2 broods/season,
Clutch: 2-7 eggs/brood,
Egg color: Pale blue to a light brown base color, and these eggs usually have brown or gray spots.
Egg size: 1 inch by just under 1 inch
Incubation: Both parents incubate the eggs for 17-18 days and the young fledge between 17-21 days.
Wouldn’t you love to have blue jays in your yard? Check out: 7 Proven Ways to Attract Blue Jays to Your Yard.
|Appearance||Tiny birds 4.25″ long, soft blue/gray upperparts, white eye-rings, white underparts, long black long tail with white under. Females are the same. The breeding male is accented with narrow black eyebrows.|
|Diet||Insects and spiders.|
|Feeder Food||Unlikely to visit the feeder.|
|Habitat||Deciduous forested areas.|
|Nesting||Nest: Tidy cup-shaped nest of natural fibers, bark, and spiderweb about 3-80′ high in a tree or shrub. |
Broods: 1-2 broods/season
Clutch: 3-5 eggs/brood
Egg color: Pale blue with red/brown spots.
Egg size: 0.5 – 0.6 inches by 0.4 – 0.5 inches
Incubation: 11-15 days and the young fledge at about 10-15 days.
|Appearance||Small 4.3″ long bird, sky-blue above, white wing bars, darker blue streaks on back, white belly, steel/blue neck band & stripes on the sides. Females are light blue/green above, soft yellow belly, brown wings, and a bit of white under the eye.|
|Diet||Insects and plants.|
|Feeder Food||Unlikely to visit feeder.|
|Habitat||Deciduous forests with mature tall trees.|
|Nesting||Cup-shaped nests of twigs, grass and spiderwebs placed in tree 16-115′ up. 1 brood/season, 1-5 eggs/brood, eggs are .6-.8″ long, gray/green and speckled with brown, incubation lasts 11-12 days.|
|Appearance||12.5″ long bird with iridescent blue with purple and bronze. Eyes are yellow, long flared tail. Female is similar with less vibrant coloring (more brown) and shorter tail.|
|Diet||Insects, grains, seeds, fruit, scavenged garbage.|
|Feeder Food||Sunflower seeds, black-oil sunflower seeds.|
|Habitat||Fields with scattered trees, open woodlands, farmlands, and marshes. Common in suburban yards.|
|Nesting||Bulky cup-shaped nest of twigs placed 3-20′ high in conifer tree. 3-5 eggs incubated for 12-15 days. Young fledge at about 12-15 days.|
|Appearance||7″ long, royal blue, orange throat & breast, white belly & undertail. Female is similar but more muted colors|
|Diet||Insects & spiders in spring/summer. Small fruit in Fall/Winter.|
|Feeder Food||Suet, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, jelly.|
|Habitat||Wide-open spaces, fields, meadow.|
|Nesting||Nest: Cavity nesters. The male bluebird determines the nest site (an old woodpecker hole in a tree or manmade nestbox), but the female is the one who builds the nest. She keeps the nest for multiple broods.|
Brood: 2-7 broods/season
Clutch: 4-5 eggs/brood
Egg color: Pale blue eggs (sometimes white) with no blemishes or discoloration.
Egg size: 0.9 inches by 0.8 inches
Incubation: 11-19 days
|Appearance||Small bird 5″ long. Breeding males are bright blue with short, gray, triangle-shaped beaks, and dark blue wings with a brush of tan. Wintering male and first-spring male are patchy brown and blue. Females are a soft yellowish-brown and some light streaking on the underparts.|
|Diet||Small seeds, insects, and fruits.|
|Feeder Food||Although not a regular at the feeder you may entice them with nyjer/thistle and white millet seeds.|
|Habitat||Brushy fields, on weedy plants, scrub, and along the edges of the woods. Also in clearings within deciduous woods, and edges of swamps.|
|Nesting||Cup-shaped nest in shrubs or trees 3′ high. Shrubs or trees 3′ high. 1-3 broods/season, 3-4 eggs/brood, eggs are white with few brown spots.|
For more detail about the Indigo Bunting such as its mating & nesting, how to attract them to your yard, and more: check out Proven Ways to Attract Indigo Buntings.
|Appearance||Small bird about 4.5″ long, blue/gray with a yellow throat and back patch, bluish-gray overall with a yellow-green patch on the back, a brown band on lower, white strips above and below each eye. Females are similar but more muted colors. neck, and 2 white wing bars.|
|Diet||Spiders, insects, berries, seeds, nectar.|
|Feeder Food||Unlikely to visit a feeder.|
|Habitat||Prefer forested areas especially when water is present (streams, marshes) and in the lowland where moss is present.|
|Nesting||Nests are built in mossy vegetation as high up as 100′ at the end of a branch. 1-2 broods/season, 2-7 eggs/brood, eggs are about .65″ long, white with red/brown/purple speckles and incubation lasts about 12-14 days.|
|Appearance||8.5″ large bird with blue/purple head, back, and belly with black wings and tail.|
|Diet||Insects especially dragonflies.|
|Feeder Food||Unlikely to visit a feeder.|
|Habitat||Usually within 100′ of human dwelling. Purple Martins exist in large colonies.|
|Nesting||Cavity nester primarily using manmade nest boxes which accommodate a colony of birds. 1 brood/season, 4-5 white eggs/brood, 15-18 days incubation, fledge after 26-30 days.|
|Appearance||4.5″ 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.|
|Diet||Insects, spiders, and other bugs.|
|Feeder Food||Suet, sunflower seeds, shelled peanuts, fruit.|
|Habitat||Forested 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.|
|Nesting||Cavity nesters – prefer to excavate their own holes. 1 brood/season, 6 eggs/brood, eggs are white & speckled with red-brown.|
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.
|Appearance||Large bird 12-14″ long, chubby with blue/gray wings with black pointy tips, short red legs, black, round wide tail, and iridescent neck.|
|Diet||Grains, seeds, and fruit. Commonly seen scavenging trash cans for food.|
|Feeder Food||Millet, cracked corn, black-oil sunflower seed, safflower, peanut hearts.|
|Habitat||Common around cities and towns as well as farmlands|
|Nesting||A 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.|
|Appearance||5-6″ long, dark metallic blue – blue/green with white belly, notched tail and pointed wing tips. Females have same coloring but a bit duller.|
|Diet||Insects and small fruits.|
|Feeder Food||Unlikely to visit a feeder.|
|Habitat||Open areas such as fields, large lawns, and marshes.|
|Nesting||Cavity nester, will use a manmade nest box or natural woodpecker tree hold. 1 brood/season, 4-6 white eggs, 13-16 days of incubation.|
|Appearance||5-6″ 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.|
|Diet||Insects & seeds.|
|Feeder Food||Suet, sunflower seed, shelled peanuts.|
|Habitat||Near mature deciduous and mixed forests; wooded suburban areas such as orchards, parks, and backyards.|
|Nesting||Cavity 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.|
The great state of North Carolina hosts many different species of blue birds. Hopefully, you’ve identified the one you’re interested in within this article or just broadened your knowledge of blue birds in North Carolina. If you want to see more blue birds consider taking steps to attract them.