17 Magnificent Birds with Blue Feathers (Pictures & Facts)
Bird lovers! Are you curious about birds to keep an eye out for next time you go birdwatching? Or do you just want to upgrade your bird knowledge?
Then birds with blue feathers should be on your priority list.
Did you know that bluebird species do not actually have blue but black feathers?
Bluebirds’ feathers result from the reaction between light and air pockets in a bird’s feathers. Yeah!
However, this article will teach us not only about bluebirds but also about other birds with blue feathers, where you can find them, and how to identify them.
Let’s get started.
17 Birds with Blue Feathers
- Hyacinth Macaw
- Steller’s Jay
- Eastern Bluebird
- Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
- Blue Rock Thrush
- Satin Bowerbird
- Mountain Bluebird
- Common Kingfisher
- Barn Swallow
- Western Bluebird
- Plumbeous Water Redstart
- Blue Grosbeak
- Indigo Bunting
- Mexican Jay
- Tree Swallow
- Cerulean Warbler
- Belted Kingfisher
List of Birds with Blue Feathers
Feather colors: Cobalt blue, yellow
Weight: 2 – 3 Ib (1.2 – 1.7 kg)
Length: 3 ft 3 in (1 m)
Wingspan: 117 – 127 cm (46 – 50 in)
Colorations and identification: A hyacinth macaw is the largest parrot family member. It is a cobalt bird with blue feathers on the wings, back, underbelly, and yellow rings surrounding the eye and the base of the beak.
However, its beak and toes are black, and they have zygodactyl toes (four toes with two forward-facing toes and two backward-facing toes).
Distribution and habitat: Hyacinth macaws are native to parts of Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay (although they have been recently introduced to Florida). They strive in woodlands, grasslands, and along the riverside and practically avoid areas with dense or humid vegetation.
Diet: These parrots are herbivores, and their diet includes seeds, berries, nuts, fruits, and leaves.
Interestingly, hyacinth macaws do not have to worry about chewing or ingesting their food; their beaks are strong enough to break some nuts.
Read Also: List of Blue and Yellow Birds
Feather colors: Blue, black, gray
Weight: 0.22 – 0.31 Ib (100 – 140 g)
Length: 12 – 13 in (30 – 34 cm)
Wingspan: 17.3 in (44 cm)
Colorations and identification: Apart from the crown of a steller’ jay head, every other coloring is the same with all species regardless of location. Steller’s jays found in the north have blackish-brown crowns and those in the south are blue.
The greater part of a steller’s jay’s back and the tips of its wings are gray, and in rare cases, their underbellies are whitish blue.
Distribution and habitat: Steller’s jays are native to the evergreen forests of North-Western America. Although they thrive in high altitudes, they can also be found at the ground level.
Diet: Being omnivores, steller’s jays eat both plants and animals. Like other jays, they feed on nuts, berries, and fruits. But for the animal diet, they’ll have invertebrates and, on rare occasions, lizards.
Feather colors: Blue, reddish-brown, and white
Weight: 27 -34 g (0.06 – 0.07 Ib)
Length: 16 – 21 cm (6.3 – 8.3 in)
Wingspan: 25 – 32 cm (9.8 – 12.6 in)
Colorations and identification: A sexual morphism is present in eastern bluebirds. Males have azure blue feathers on their back and head, brick-red breast, and a white underbelly. Females have grayish feathers, with a touch of blue, on their head and back, a white underbelly, and a reddish-orange breast.
Eastern bluebirds are songbirds; you know it’s them when you hear their famous melodious chitin or tu-a-wee song.
Distribution and habitat: They are found in South-eastern U.S and Canada, Mexico, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Bermuda Islands. If you want to see one, look at a power line by the roadside or on a tree branch close to meadows and farms.
In general, eastern bluebirds are the most common bluebirds in North America, and if you live in countryside areas, you probably see them all the time.
Diet: These birds are also omnivorous. Invertebrates (insects, grasshoppers, beetles) make a good chunk of their diet, and they only settle for fruits and berries when there is scarcity.
Feather colors: Blue, white, gray
Weight: 5 – 7 g (0.18 – 0.25 oz)
Length: 10 – 13 cm (3.9 – 5.1 in)
Wingspan: 16 cm (6.3 in)
Colorations and identification: If you want to identify blue-gray gnatcatchers look for birds with blue-gray plumage on their back and grayish-white feathers underneath their breast and belly.
In addition, they have a long tail with black flight feathers and streaks of white.
Distribution and habitat: Blue-gray gnatcatchers are migratory birds found in the U.S, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Northern Central America, depending on the season. They nest in shrublands and deciduous forests.
Diet: Regardless of their name, blue-gray gnatcatchers do not eat gnats. They are carnivores and survive on insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates.
Blue Rock Thrushes
Feather colors: Blue, gay, orange
Weight: 50 – 70 g (1.7 – 2.4 oz)
Length: 20 – 23 cm (7.8 – 9.1 in)
Wingspan: 30 – 37 cm (11. 8 – 14.5 in)
Colorations and identification: Blue rock thrushes are quite different from other rock thrushes because they do not have red feathers. A male’s head is covered in black feathers, and the back and underbelly have blue feathers and dark brown on their wings.
Distribution and habitat: Blue rock thrushes are migratory birds seen from North-Western Africa and North-Eastern Africa to southern Europe, South Asia, and South-Eastern Asia. They nest in rocky mountains, quarries, and ruins.
Diet: Blue rock thrushes are omnivore birds that eat anything from insects, fruits, and berries to small reptiles.
Feather colors: Blue
Weight: 170 – 290 g (5.9 – 10.2 oz)
Length: 32 – 33 cm (12.5 – 12.9 in)
Wingspan: 18 – 20 cm (7.0 – 7.8 in)
Colorations and identification: Male satin bowerbirds have a blue-black plumage and a violet iris, a unique, striking feature. Its bill, however, is light blue, almost whitish. Females, in contrast, have green plumage.
Distribution and habitat: Satin bowerbirds are native to Australia only. To escape the heat common to Australia, they nest in hot open areas in trees adapted to survive heat and dryness as well as rainforests.
Diet: At juvenile stages, satin bowerbirds are insectivores. But as they grow into adulthood, they become territorial frugivores.
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Feather colors: Blue, white
Weight: 27 – 34 g (0.9 – 1.1 oz)
Length: 15 – 20 cm (5.9 – 7.8 in)
Wingspan: 25 – 36 cm (9.8 – 14.1)
Colorations and identification: Male mountain bluebirds are bluebird species with a mixture of different shades of blue plumage. On their back and head is a sky blue plumage which fades into a combination of white and blue at the underbelly and their under-wings have almost white plumage.
On the other side, females are brown colored with only hints of blue on their flight feathers.
Distribution and habitat: Mountain bluebirds are migratory birds native to western North America, and they usually nest in grasslands and areas sparsely covered with shrubs.
Diet: In springtime, summer, and autumn, mountain bluebirds are primarily insectivores, while in winter, they settle for berries, fruits, and fruit seeds.
Feather colors: Blue, orange, white
Weight: 34 – 46 g (1.1 – 1.6 oz)
Length: 16 – 17 cm (6.2 – 6.6 in)
Wingspan: 24 – 26 cm (9.4 – 10.2 in)
Colorations and identification: Another predominantly blue feathered bird, the common kingfisher, is a shy creature and is therefore rarely seen. A common kingfisher’s head and back are covered in blue-green plumage.
Their underbelly is an orange plumage with white feathers at the center. A small patch of white feathers is also present on their cheeks and a white eye patch. Furthermore, common kingfishers have a long beak used for fishing.
Distribution and habitat: As migratory birds, common kingfishers are found on every continent. In winter, they migrate to southern tropical countries only to return to the north when it’s spring for the breeding season.
Common kingfishers nest anywhere in freshwater habitats, from estuaries to rocky seashores, as long as a water source is nearby where they can fish.
Diet: These tiny blue feathered birds are carnivores. However, their diet is centered on fish which makes them primarily piscivores.
90% of their diet consists of fish, other 10% is based on crustaceans and insects.
Feather colors: Blue, brown, white
Weight: 17 – 20 g (0.5 – 0.7 oz)
Length: 14.4 – 19.8 cm (5.7 – 7.8 in)
Wingspan: 29 – 32 cm (11.4 – 12.5 in)
Colorations and identification: Barn swallows have a blue-black plumage on their back and head, an orange mixed with white plumage on the underbelly, neck, and nose area, and black flight feathers with hints of brown and white.
Distribution and habitat: Barn swallows are widely distributed migratory birds. They can be found on different continents at different times of the year.
As their name implies, barn swallows primarily nest in barns, farms, and open areas close to a water source.
Diet: These swallows are insectivores, with flies making up 70% of their diet and aphids for the remainder.
Feather colors: Blue, brown, white
Weight: 24 – 31 g (0.8 – 1.1 oz)
Length: 15 – 19 cm (5.9 – 7.5 in)
Wingspan: 29 – 34 cm (11.4 – 13.4 in)
Colorations and identification: Western bluebirds are another bluebird species recognized by blue plumage on their wings and head. They also have rusty brown feathers on their back and upper half underbelly and white plumage on the lower half.
However, male western bluebirds are more brightly colored than their female counterparts.
Distribution and habitat: Western bluebirds can live anywhere from natural ground level to high up in the mountains. They nest in sparse vegetation, farmlands, and by river bends, and are found in various parts of the U.S and Mexico.
Diet: In winter, when insects are scarce, western bluebirds’ diet consists of berries and fruits. Every other season, the bulk of their diet is based on insects and occasionally snails, spiders, and earthworms.
Plumbeous Water Redstarts
Feather colors: Blue, orange
Weight: 18 – 22 g (0.6 – 0.7 oz)
Length: 12 – 14 cm (4.7 – 5.5 in)
Colorations and identification: In plumbeous water redstart, a sexual morphism is also present. Males have a rich blue plumage that fades as it recedes to the underbelly, and flight feathers are brown.
On the other hand, females have gray plumage that fades as they advance towards the underbelly, an orange eye patch, black flight feathers, and white plumage just before the tail.
Distribution and habitat: Plumbeous water redstarts are non-migratory birds native to South-Eastern Asian countries (Taiwan, Afghanistan, Taiwan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Bhutan, Nepal, etc.
These birds usually nest next to rocky waters or along with water courses.
Diet: Plumbeous water redstarts are omnivores, with much of their diet being insects and the minority being berries and spiders.
Feather colors: Blue, Orange, Black
Weight: 26 – 31 g (0.9 – 1. 0 oz)
Length: 15 – 16 cm (5.9 – 6.2 in)
Wingspan: 28 cm (11 in)
Colorations and identification: The first feature that stands out in the blue grosbeak is its large, robust bill. Male blue grosbeaks have rich blue feathers with brown streaks on their black flight feathers.
Females, however, have brown plumage and an occasional spot of blue feathers on their flight feathers.
Distribution and habitat: Blue grosbeaks love to nest in sparse-type vegetations like areas covered in shrubs and sparsely growing trees.
They are migratory birds that breed, migrate and spend winter in Mexico, Central America, northern South America, and as far south as Panama.
Diet: The bulk of blue grosbeaks’ diet is based on insects and seeds. However, they will also feed on grasshoppers, spiders, beetles, and wild fruits.
Feather colors: Black, Blue
Weight: 12 – 17 g (0.4 – 0.5 oz)
Length: 12 – 13 cm (4.7 – 5.1 in)
Wingspan: 19 – 23 cm (7.4 – 9.0 in)
Colorations and identification: Naturally, a male indigo bunting’s plumage is black. But because its feathers have blue pigment, it radiates a bright blue, turquoise, or teal color depending on the angle of the light source.
Females, as well as juveniles, have dull brown plumage (colors vary according to season).
Distribution and habitat: Indigo buntings are migratory birds. In the winter, they are found all through Central America to coastal areas. In summer, their population range from the U.S Northwards towards South-Eastern Canada.
These birds nest in brushy vegetation, farmlands, woodlands, and open deciduous woods.
Diet: Indigo buntings are omnivores. During summer, they eat insects, grass seeds, beetles, caterpillars, spiders, and berries. But in the winter, their diet is mainly grass seeds and occasionally insects.
Feather colors: Blue, white, gray
Weight: 100 – 135 g (0.22 – 0.29 Ib)
Length: 27 – 30 cm (10.6 – 11.8 in)
Wingspan: 38 – 50 cm (15 – 20 in)
Colorations and identification: Mexican jays are birds with a soft blue plumage streaked with gray on their back and head, a white underbelly, and a gray band across their flight feathers.
Distribution and habitat: Mexican jays are non-migratory birds native to South Western U.S and Mexico – hence their name. They nest in pine-oak woodlands and can survive in any way, from deserts to mountainous lands up to 11,000 feet.
Diet: These jay species are omnivorous and have an all-inclusive diet. They live on anything from grasshoppers, lizards, beetles, and snakes to acorns and pine in springtime.
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Feather colors: Blue, brown, black, white
Weight: 20 – 25 g (0.7 – 0.8 oz)
Length: 12 – 15 cm (4.7 – 5.9 in)
Wingspan: 30 – 36 cm (11.8 – 14.1 in)
Colorations and identification: Male tree swallows have glossy blue plumage on their head and back, a white underbelly, a black eye patch, and wings.
On the other hand, female tree swallows have a greenish-blue plumage, with hints of brown on their head and back and a duller white underbelly.
Distribution and habitat: Tree swallows can be discovered in different corners of North America, depending on the time of the year. In spring, they can be seen in Canada, the U.S, and some parts of Alaska, and in winter, Mexico.
If you are looking for their nests, look no further than open lands or wooded areas close to a water body.
Diet: A tree swallow is an insectivore. Flies make up most of their diet, which can be occasionally replaced with mollusks, other invertebrates, and fruits.
Feather colors: Sky blue, white, black
Weight: 8 – 10 g (0.28 – 0.35 oz)
Length: 11 cm (4.3 in)
Wingspan: 17 – 23 cm (7 – 9 in)
Colorations and identification: Male cerulean warblers have a light blue plumage with a streak of black and white feathers, a white underbelly, and a slim band of dark blue plumage across the neck. But in females, the white feathers are replaced with somehow yellowish.
Distribution and habitat: Cerulean warblers are small-sized migratory birds. During the breeding season, they nest above canopies of forests with deciduous vegetation in parts of the U.S and Canada.
Yet, in the non-breeding season (autumn-winter), they migrate to northern South America, covering a total distance of 5,000 km in 40 – 70 days.
Diet: Cerulean warblers are also primarily insectivores. From the middle to the top of canopies, cerulean warblers spend their time eating various insects.
However, when insects are scarce, they settle for berries and other fruits.
Feather colors: White, brown, grayish-blue
Weight: 140 – 17o g (0.31 – 0.37 Ib)
Length: 28 – 35 cm (11 – 14 in)
Wingspan: 48 – 58 cm (18 – 22 in)
Colorations and identification: The belted kingfisher is the last member on our list of birds with blue feathers. Both genders have greenish-blue plumage on their crest and back, stretching across the breast as a band.
While male belted kingfishers have just a white plumage on their neck and underbelly, females have these colors with an additional band of brown plumage across their chest.
Distribution and habitat: Belted kingfishers are migratory birds. During the breeding season, they are found across northern America. In winter, they migrate to tropical areas in South America.
These kingfishers are found around freshwater habitats and estuaries during the breeding season, in mangroves during winter, and inland in springtime.
Diet: Belted kingfishers are carnivores – piscivores, to be specific. Much of their diet is made of fish, and they have long beaks to that effect.
However, in winter, they might eat other seafood like mollusks, crustaceans, and even berries.
With this, we have completed the article on birds with blue feathers.
The most common blue-feathered birds in North America are Eastern bluebirds. Still, if you are a persistent birdwatcher, you’ll probably have the chance to see many of these majestic birds from the list in person.
Hopefully, this article will help you identify every species with ease.
Thank you for reading. Here’s a recommendation for another popular bird topic: Blue-headed Black Birds.