Friday, October 9, 2009

Mountain Bluebird

One of the things that we always look forward to when we travel out to Yellowstone is photographing mountain bluebirds. Once in a while an errant mountain bluebird is spotted in Minnesota during the winter but usually the only time we get a chance to photograph mountain bluebirds is when we head out west.
Mountain bluebirds are cavity nesters and are pretty creative at finding nesting spots. It is pretty common to find them nesting in the holes that you find in many of the park signs. This pair was nesting in the middle of Mammoth. Don't be fooled the male mountain bluebird looks like he might be helping to make the nest but the truth is that the female does all of the work.
The mountain bluebird shares much of its range with the western bluebird, although the mountain bluebirds range continues farther north then the western bluebird, and there is often competition between the two for territory and nesting sites. It is easy to distinguish between the two because the western bluebird has an orange chest where the mountain bluebird is all blue.
Since they do not seem to mind the cold very much they are usually one of the first birds that return to Yellowstone in the spring. That is why we have managed to see them every year that we have headed out, even the years where there is still several feet of snow on the ground and it manages to snow a couple of times while we are out there.

11 comments:

Misty Dawn said...

These photos are outstanding. What absolutely beautiful birds! I saw some Mountain Bluebirds a couple weekends ago, but couldn't get good photos of them... they are quite skittish birds.

Kirk Mona said...

I love Mountain bluebirds. I saw them while in the Black Hills this summer. I was lucky enough to have one pose for me wonderfully. We were in a busy camp ground so he must have been used to all the people. He just sat there and let me click away. Fun photos, thanks for sharing. It makes me want to go out west again.

Chris said...

These are fabulous shots! The background and the dynamic are gorgeous! Well done! I'd like to have some nice birds like this around here.

Vicki ~ FL said...

Fabulous shots of beautiful birds...we used to see them occasionally when we lived in Colorado Springs.

Squirrel said...

Great shots of these beautiful birds!

sweet bay said...

Wonderful shots! Mountain Bluebirds are such beautiful birds.

Sandy Kessler said...

a real favorite

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful photos of the Mountian Bluebird. The bluebirds are my favorite birds. I have seen the Mountain Bluebird while in Yellowstone and of course I have the Eastern Bluebird here in my yard. But I need to see the Western Bluebird.

Regina said...

Such amazing birds!

"Regina's CameraCritters-MissingMyShiTzu"

Mara said...

What a beautiful little bird! And the photos are capturing them just right!

Mark said...

I love the way these little guys can hover. I never caught a good photo of one while I was in western Wyoming several summers ago, but I loved to watch them.