Bird’s ID – Eastern Bluebird
The Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) is a small thrush found in open woodlands, farmlands, and orchards. It is the state bird of Missouri and New York.
This species measures 16–21 cm (6.3–8.3 in) long, spans 25–32 cm (9.8–12.6 in) across the wings, and weighs 27–34 g (0.95–1.20 oz). Eastern bluebirds are found east of the Rockies, southern Canada to the Gulf states, and southeastern Arizona to Nicaragua. The increase in trees throughout the Great Plains during the past century due to fire suppression and tree planting facilitated the western range expansion of the eastern bluebird as well as range expansions of many other species of birds.
The bright-blue breeding plumage of the male, easily observed on a wire or open perch, makes this species a favorite of birders.
About two-thirds of the diet of an adult consists of insects and other invertebrates. The remainder of the bird’s diet is made up of wild fruits or berries. Favored insect foods include grasshoppers, crickets, katydids, and beetles. Other food items include earthworms, spiders, millipedes, centipedes, sow bugs, and snails.
Eastern bluebirds are very social birds. At times, they gather in flocks of a hundred or more. However, they are territorial during the breeding season and may continue to defend a feeding area throughout the winter. Mating occurs in the spring and summer. A mature female typically raises two broods each season. Nests are constructed in trees within abandoned woodpecker holes or other cavities that provide adequate protection (usually several feet above ground). Construction of the nest is done primarily by the female and takes around 10 days to complete
Eastern bluebirds can live for 6 to 10 years. The longest recorded lifespan for a bluebird is 10 years and five months.