One of the most iconic birds of the American West is the diminutive and stunning Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides), yet, very few people ever have a chance to observe them in the wild; and there's good reason for this. They are barely over six inches from stem to stern, they do not fly in flocks, and they are not interested in birdseed; you will never see one at a bird-feeder. They are also particular about where they nest and mate. The gorgeous blues of the male Mountain Bluebird are truly unforgettable. The Mountain Bluebird is a small migratory thrush that migrates to Mexico in winter and prefers to nest @ over 5,000 feet, according to my research. But my photographs were taken in and around the Wind River Canyon here in the state of Wyoming; all @ below 4,000 feet! They live 6-10 years in the wild and they are the state bird of Idaho and Nevada.
I had accidentally found a spot where a beautiful male was guarding his territory, and for three magical mating seasons he provided amazing stress relief. I also know of a "nesting box" where one pair will nest.
The above photograph was published in a bird magazine. While the male Mountain Bluebirds are stunning in their blues, the females are plain-looking by comparison, but so would you. The image below is of a mating pair. A Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus) entered into his territory, and the male bluebird was not happy about it at all! He ferociously chased the male Lark Sparrow off. Their preferred food is a bug of some sort, and here is a picture of a male Mountain Bluebird with a caterpillar he caught and is taking it to his young.
One of the most fascinating photographs I have ever taken was this image below of a male bluebird perched on the horns of Pronghorn Antelope that were nailed to a post. It's an iconic image of an iconic bird nesting in Wyoming. It's from an old song that Phil Collins sings so well...."When I'm feeling blue, all I have to do, is take a look at you, and then I'm not so blue."
It may seem silly, but a bluebird can make you feel a whole-lot-better; trust me, I know what I'm blogging about.
Thank you for taking the time to read my Wind River Canyon Blog; all rights are reserved. My name is Michael John Balog and I live in the magical Wind River Canyon. For more wildlife photographs from the Wind River Canyon, safely visit my website HogbatsPhotography.com