The Ultimate List of Blue Birds in the US & Canada

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 blue-colored birds across the US and Canada 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.

This article includes the species of wild birds in the US or Canada that are all blue or partly blue. Small birds, large birds, dark-blue birds, and light-blue birds – they’re all here!

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
  • Habitat
  • Nest & eggs description

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

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 white base. Female’s coloring is lighter and tail shorter.
DietInsects, preferably beetles, wasps and flies. Drinks by skimming the surface of 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.

Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher
Belted Kingfisher. Photo by Dennis Buchner on Unsplash
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.

Black Throated Blue Warbler

Black-Throated Blue Warbler.
Black-Throated Blue Warbler. Photo by Forest Jarvis.
Appearance5″ long, midnight/steel blue back, black throat, white belly
DietInsects and fruit.
Feeder FoodSuet, peanut butter, and nectar.
HabitatPrefer mature deciduous and mixed evergreen woodlands with plenty of thick shrubs.
NestingCup-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

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.

Blue Jay

Blue jay sitting on snowy branch
Blue jay. Photo by Cathy Cardone.
AppearanceLarge 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.
DietInsects, fruit, seeds, nuts, other birds’ eggs and nestlings.
Feeder FoodWhole peanuts, sunflower seeds, and cracked corn.
HabitatForested areas with mixed trees types. Also common in suburbs and urban areas.
NestingA bulky large nest made from twigs, bark, and mud resting on a tree branch about 5-50′ up. 1-2 broods/season, 4-5 eggs/brood, eggs are green/blue with brown marks. Incubation is 16-18 days and the young fledge between 17-21 days.

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.

California Scrub-Jay

California Scrub Jay
California Scrub Jay. Photo by Rob Stanard.
AppearanceLarge bird 11″ long, slender, shades of bright azure blue and gray, brown patch on the back, white underparts, blue necklace, and long tail. Female look the same.
DietInsects, nuts (especially acorns), seeds, fruit, other birds eggs and nestlings and small animals.
Feeder FoodWhole peanuts, sunflower seeds, and suet.
HabitatAlong the edges of the west coast including from Baja, Mexico to the southernmost part of British Columbia. Prefer open areas with ample trees and scrubs even within suburban and urban areas.
NestingLarge and bulky open-cup nest of twigs and bark, in a tree or bush about 3-10′ up. 2-3 eggs/brood, incubated for 15-17 days and young fledge between 18-23 days. Eggs are 1-1.5″ long, pale green blotched with olive, or pale gray spotted with brown.

Cerulean Warbler

Cerulean Warbler
Cerulean Warbler. Photo by Ruth Cornwell.
AppearanceSmall 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.
DietInsects and plants.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit feeder.
HabitatDeciduous forests with mature tall trees.
NestingCup-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.

Common Grackle

Common Grackle
Common Grackle. aPhoto by Patrice Bouchard on Unsplash
Appearance12.5″ 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.
DietInsects, grains, seeds, fruit, scavenged garbage.
Feeder FoodSunflower seeds, black-oil sunflower seeds.
HabitatFields with scattered trees, open woodlands, farmlands, and marshes. Common in suburban yards.
NestingBulky 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.

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, 2-7 eggs/brood, pale blue eggs (sometimes white). 

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


Florida Scrub-Jay

florida scrub jay perched on a plant
Florida Scrub Jay. Photo by Save Our Florida Scrub Jays.
AppearanceAbout 10″ long, large blue bird, light gray back and belly, swipes of white through forehead, and very long tail. Female is similar.
DietVaried diet of insects, nuts (especially acorns), berries, small snakes, mice, and lizards.
Feeder FoodWhole peanuts.
HabitatLow-growing scrub oak exclusively in Florida.
NestingCup-shaped nest of twigs and fibers located at the edges of scrubbed areas. 1-2 broods/season, 1-6 eggs/brood, eggs are about 1″ long, green with brown spots, 16-21 day incubation and young fledge at about 12-25 days.

Indigo Bunting

Indigo bunting male
Male indigo bunting. Photo by Lonnie Gilstrap.
Appearance5″ 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.
DietSmall seeds, insects, and fruits. 
Feeder FoodAlthough not a regular at the feeder you may entice them with nyjer/thistle and white millet seeds.
HabitatBrushy fields, on weedy plants, scrub, and along the edges of the woods. Also in clearings within deciduous woods, and edges of swamps.
NestingCup-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 range, mating & nesting, how to attract them to your yard, and more: check out Proven Ways to Attract Indigo Buntings.


Island Scrub-Jay

Island scrub jay
Island Scrub Jay. Photo by Damon Tighe.
Appearance13″ long, large vibrant blue bird, dark gray back and mask, white throat, light gray belly, large bill, and long tail. Female is similar.
DietAcross, insects, spiders, snakes, lizards, mice, and other birds’ eggs and nestlings.
Feeder FoodN/A – Only 2 people inhabit the island.
HabitatFound exclusively on Santa Cruz Island, California.
NestingBuilt with sticks, twigs, and roots in dense bushes and trees. 2-5 eggs/brood, incubation is about 20 days.

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 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.

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.

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.

Northern Parula

Northern Parula on a branch
Northern Parula. Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash
AppearanceSmall 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.
DietSpiders, insects, berries, seeds, nectar.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatPrefer forested areas especially when water is present (streams, marshes) and in the lowland where moss is present.
NestingNests 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.

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. 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.

Purple Martin

Purple Martin
Purple Martin. Photo by Ruth Cornwell.
Appearance8.5″ large bird with blue/purple head, back, and belly with black wings and tail.
DietInsects especially dragonflies.
Feeder FoodUnlikely to visit a feeder.
HabitatUsually within 100′ of human dwelling. Purple Martins exist in large colonies.
NestingCavity 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.

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.

For more details about the Red-Breasted Nuthatch such as its range, 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
NestingLarge 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.

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.

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.

Western Bluebird

Western bluebird perched on branch
Western Bluebird
AppearanceSmall bird 7″ long, deep blue underparts, chestnut back and breast. Female gray/blue, light blue wings and tail, and pale chestnut breast.
DietInsects, fruits & berries.
Feeder FoodMealworms
HabitatOpen woodlands especially those with pines and oaks, orchards, farmland with some trees.
NestingCavity nesters – old woodpecker hold or manmade nesting box. 2 broods/season, 4-5 eggs/brood, 12-18 days incubation and young fledge at about 20 days.

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.

Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay

Woodhouse's Scrub Jay
Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay.
Appearance11-12″ large bird, light blue and gray, white throat, gray belly separated by an indistinct, angled stripe of bright blue on chest, and long wide tail. Female are similar.
DietInsects, fruit, nuts, seeds, lizards and nestling birds, sometimes finding nests.
Feeder FoodWhole peanuts, sunflower seeds.
HabitatPinyon pine habitats, dry shrublands of Nevada on south, suburbs and parks.
NestingBasket shaped nest of twigs and plant in pinyon pine or shrub between 6-14′ up. 1-5 eggs, eggs .9-1.3″ long, pale green blotched with olive, or pale gray spotted with brown. Incubation 17-19 days and long fledge 17-19 days.

Keep this article handy because I guarantee when you see an amazing blue bird you WILL want to know the species and details about it. Trust me!

Happy Birding!

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Sources

All About Birds. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 2021
eBird. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 2021
Tekiela, Stan. Birds of Wisconsin Field Guide. 1999
Noah, Strycker, and Alderfer Jonathan. National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Birds of North America. 2nd ed., National Geographic, 2019. 

Photo of author

Tammy Poppie

More than 20 years ago, Tammy put her first bird feeder outside her kitchen window. Since then she learned how to attract wild birds to her back yard (and repel others). In her free time, she can be found in nature kayaking, hiking, and biking always hoping to see a bird in the wild.