Did you know that blue is one of the rarest colors in nature? And therefore, blue birds are not so common.
This is because blue as a pigment simply doesn’t exist there. Plants, animals, and birds alike have to use other means to be perceived as blue. Birds can appear blue thanks to the structure of their feathers and the way light interacts with them.
In this list, we’ve included the most common blue birds and their descriptions.
On this page
- #15 Tree Swallow
- #14 Cerulean Warbler
- #13 Blue Mockingbird
- #12 Blue Grosbeak
- #11 Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
- #10 Belted Kingfisher
- #9 Blue Rock Thrush
- #8 Little Blue Heron
- #7 Lazuli Bunting
- #6 Eastern Bluebird
- #5 Indigo Bunting
- #4 Steller’s Jay
- #3 Blue Bunting
- #2 Mountain Bluebird
- #1 Blue Jay
- Questions & Answers of Blue Birds
#15 Tree Swallow
Tree Swallows get their name from the fact they like to nest in tree cavities. They have a deep-blue iridescent head and back; their wings are black and their underbelly white. Juveniles and immatures have a brownish-black back and a white underside.
These birds are competent aerialists, often seen chasing insects with high speed and precise maneuvers. It shouldn’t be too hard to find one, as they’re common across all of North America from spring to fall. You can see them on open fields or marshes near bodies of fresh water, and also perching on utility wires, practicing their sweet high-pitched song consisting of chirps, whines, and warbles.
#14 Cerulean Warbler
Adult male Cerulean Warblers are small blue birds with a cerulean head and back with thin black streaks, black and white wings, and a mostly white underbelly. Females have a greenish-blue or light green upper side and a pale-yellow underside. Juveniles usually look like adult females, although they may be a bit more yellow.
It is one of the smallest warblers, being only 4.3 inches long and having a wingspan of 7.9 inches.
They prefer to inhabit large unbroken areas of older forests with tall trees east of the Rocky Mountains, hopping along the branches of the canopy, and eating insects. It is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN’s Red List because its population has been in a rapid decline due to the loss and degradation of habitat.
#13 Blue Mockingbird
Blue Mockingbirds are medium-sized songbirds native to Central America but have sometimes been spotted in the southern United States. It has an overall slaty-blue plumage with a black mask on its face but can appear gray in the shade. It has reddish-brown eyes and a black bill and black legs.
You can find them in different woodlands from humid forests and thickets to scrub and pine-oak forests. The IUCN Red List has rated them as of least concern but due to habitat fragmentation and loss, their numbers are dropping.
#12 Blue Grosbeak
Blue Grosbeaks are migratory medium-sized birds common across the southern half of the United States. The adult male has an all-cobalt-blue plumage with a tiny black mask on its face, rust-colored tinges on its wing feathers, and a silver bill. Females and immature males look like House Sparrows – their plumage consists of different shades of brown. A nonbreeding male is a patchwork of blue and cinnamon with rust-colored wingbars and a small black mask.
Since they mostly like to catch insects in higher foliage and perch on higher branches, then you can locate them by their short and sweet warbling songs in forest edges and old fields with brushy areas.
#11 Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
This tiny long-tailed ball of fluff is one of the more modest species among birds of blue color. Adult Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher males have dusty blue upper parts and white underparts, a dark slender bill, and a black tail and wings. Females are mostly gray with blue hints, and juveniles appear greenish-gray.
All of them have a white ring around their eyes.
You can meet them in open woodlands and thickets, flitting about in the upper foliage, darting out to catch a tiny insect in mid-air. They also forage in trees and shrubs, picking insects from branches and beating larger beetles against a branch before eating them.
#10 Belted Kingfisher
These energetic but solitary water kingfishers have dull slaty-blue plumage with a white collar around their neck and a white belly. The females also have a rust-colored band across their bellies and sides. All of them have black long and sharp bills, short legs and tails, and a large head.
Belted Kingfisher can be seen almost all across North America. They are freshwater birds, often seen perched on suitable watchpoints to detect prey and then diving into the water to catch it. Their diet includes fish, amphibians, insects, and small reptiles.
#9 Blue Rock Thrush
The adult male Blue Rock Thrush has a beautiful dark blue-gray plumage with dark, almost black wings and a long, dark tail, and a slender black bill. Females and immatures have dark brown upper parts and paler brown, scaly-looking underparts.
You can meet Blue Rock Thrushes in grasslands, mountainous areas, and shrublands, but it prefers rocky terrain or concrete buildings. As the name suggests, it breeds and nests in open mountainous areas, especially rock cavities. You can see it hunting for various insects and small reptilians, but also feasting on berries and seeds.
#8 Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron is a medium-large waterbird with long legs and a neck that it can extend or retract like a telescope depending on the need. Both the male and female little blue herons are dark grayish-blue with a grayish-purple neck and head.
The juveniles, however, are all white and the immature birds are a patchwork of blue and white, often referred to as “pied” or “calico”.
These birds can be found east of the Rocky Mountains in various salt- and freshwater ecosystems.
They nest in colonies and you can happen upon one carefully wading or standing still in shallow water, peering to see what’s going on under the surface.
#7 Lazuli Bunting
You can recognize an adult male of this species by its sky-blue head and back, thin black stripes from its eyes to its black cone-shaped beak, rust-colored chest, white belly, and blue-black-white wings.
The female and juvenile are very similar to a House Sparrow, sporting warm browns on their plumage and barely visible blue tints on their wings. A non-breeding male looks similar to the adult male, only it has irregular cinnamon-colored patches in its plumage.
Lazuli Buntings are common west of the Rocky Mountains, and they can be found living in open woodlands, brushy areas, and along hedges and fields.
#6 Eastern Bluebird
Eastern Bluebird is a small thrush with a thin black beak, black eyes and legs. Adult males have a royal blue upper plumage with black on their wings, a rust-colored chest, and a white belly. Females and immatures have a dull bluish-gray upperside with blue tinges on their wings and tail, reddish-brown chest, and white abdomen.
Juveniles are gray with white spots on their upper side and white with gray spots on their underside with blue on their wings and tail.
They can be found east of the Rocky Mountains in open areas with little ground cover and scattered trees, foraging on the ground or making hovering flights to pick up their food. It is also the state bird of New York and Missouri.
#5 Indigo Bunting
The adult male Indigo Bunting’s plumage is a deeper shade of blue with black on its wing feathers. Females and juveniles are different shades of brown with whitish tones on their undersides, being very similar to House Sparrows. Non-breeding males are a patchwork of blue and brown.
This small dark blue bird is a migratory species, ranging from southern Canada to northern South America, and uses stars to navigate at night. You can often find it in open woodlands and grasslands, along roads and rivers, and in shrubs and trees, feasting on small seeds, berries, and insects and singing their high-pitched whistly songs atop high branches.
#4 Steller’s Jay
Steller’s Jay is a medium-sized bird native to dense coniferous forests along western North America and Mexico. Both sexes have an ashy-blue body and dark blue to black head and neck. Juveniles look much like adults, only their crest is smaller and they are a paler shade of gray. Depending on the region, their plumage can have brighter and lighter shades or darker and duller shades of blue.
Steller’s Jays are very social and travel in groups, often mixing with other flocks of birds. These omnivores forage on the ground, moving around with confident hops, pausing often to survey their surroundings.
They have many calls, but most of them are harsh rapid screeches. Similar to Blue Jays, they mimic hawks to warn others and in an attempt to chase the hawk away.
#3 Blue Bunting
Adult male Blue Bunting’s plumage consists of various shades of blue. It appears to have blackish-blue upper parts and deep blue underparts with black on its wings and around its bill and eyes.
It is a crossbreed, originating from the offspring of Indigo Buntings and Grosbeak Buntings, and as such are almost indistinguishable from Indigo Buntings, except for the lighter colored streaks on the head, shoulder, and around their eyes.
Adult females have a dull brownish plumage with a reddish tint to their belly, and immature males are overall gray-blue with brown bellies.
It ranges along the east and west coast of Central America and has been observed in forests and brushy areas.
Although not much information about them is available, it’s reasonable to assume that they feed and behave similarly to their parents.
#2 Mountain Bluebird
Adult male Mountain Bluebird’s body is azure blue all over with lighter shades on its underside. Females and juveniles only have some blue on their wings and tail but overall, they’re brownish-gray. This bright blue bird can be seen all across western North America. They breed in the northern half, preferring open woodlands, and migrate back south during winter, preferring open areas at lower elevations such as meadows, and flat grasslands.
You can see them flit from perch to perch looking for berries and seeds or hovering in the air before they drop to catch insects. At dawn, you can hear loud delightful chirruping, and during the day, you can hear them softly warble or call with a tew or a high-pitched tink. These birds travel in small flocks and are a marvelous sight to behold!
#1 Blue Jay
Blue Jays are loud and beautiful blue and white birds common almost all across the United States. Both sexes have a sky-blue back and crest, white underside, and a black collar around their neck. Their wings and tail are mainly blue with black stripes across them.
Juveniles are predominantly light brown or gray and white, with blue tinges on their wings and tail.
They can be found foraging on the ground in forests, urban, and suburban areas, and may sometimes mimic the calls of hawks to warn other Blue Jays of one or deceive other species that a hawk is nearby.
If you find an abandoned Blue Jay chick, best return it to the nest or move it to a shaded area, as parents will come back for it.
Questions & Answers of Blue Birds
What does it mean when you see a blue bird?
Seeing a blue bird is believed to mean good luck, as blue birds are a symbol of happiness, love, healing, and hope.
How rare are blue birds?
Blue birds are fairly common, although their numbers have been in a decline.
What kind of bird is blue?
The most common blue birds include the Mountain Bluebird, Blue Jay, Indigo Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, and some Thrushes, although technically there is no such thing as a blue bird, only birds whose feathers reflect blue light, so it appears blue.