A few days back, I was sitting with my friends in the backyard and spotted an Eastern Bluebird on the feeder. So, I started talking about what is the best food for it. Then my friend David told me that’s Western Bluebird that I mistook for the other one.
That time I decided to write a blog post on it. So, which birds look like Eastern Bluebirds? The most common eastern bluebird look-alike birds are Western Bluebird, Mountain Bluebird, Indigo Bunting, Lazuli Bunting, and California Scrub-Jay.
In this blog, we’re going to talk about these 6 birds, their characteristics, what are their similarities with eastern bluebirds, and the significant differences to differentiate them.
Previously, we covered a few more articles on some other birds. Those may pick interest too. You can check them here:
01. Western Bluebird
Western Bluebird is a small bird found in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and the southern Rocky Mountains. This bird prefers coniferous and deciduous forests, open woodlands, farmlands, backyards, and burned areas.
- Western Bluebirds is a small, stocky bird.
- It has a thin bill and a short tail.
- Males are shiny blue with rusty orange on their breasts and vest.
- Blue color extends from the head, neck, throat, and wings to the end.
- Females and immature ones are gray-buff with pale orange wash.
- The prominent blue color tints on the wings and tails.
Western Bluebird and the Eastern one are pretty similar to each other. The blue and orange tint on their body is hard to differentiate. Both have blue colors on their head and wings extending to the end. Also, their usual lengths are around 16 to 20 cm in length.
Differentiating the Western Bluebird from the Eastern one is very hard. Both of them have similar lengths and colors. But the western Bluebird’s orange tint is brighter than the eastern one.
Female Western Bluebird has ash lower parts, whereas the eastern females have white color in their lower bodies. Also, the blue color on the western Bluebird covers the head, throat, and neck, which isn’t the case for the eastern.
02. Mountain Bluebird
The Mountain bluebird is native to the mountain district of the Western North American territory to as far as Alaska. It’s a migratory bird that prefers areas with grasslands, sagebrush, and the places where the trees are spread out.
- Mountain bluebird is a small, stocky thrush bird.
- It has a round head with a thin bill.
- The eyes are small-round deep, dark in color.
- Adult males are overall sky-blue.
- Lower body parts are lighter than the upper parts.
- Female and Immature ones are mostly grey-brown with a tinge of pale blue.
Both eastern and mountain bluebirds have a round-shaped head with an overall blue color. The average size is quite similar for both species. They both have darker blue on the upper body parts, which pales below. The bill size and shape are also identical.
Although both of these species are related, you can easily find some differences between them. Eastern bluebird has a rusty solid color on its throat and breast. In contrast, the mountain bluebird is mostly blue.
The prominent blue color on the eastern Bluebird is darker than the mountain bluebird. Even though their average length is the same, the eastern Bluebird can reach a better length than the mountain bluebird.
03. Indigo Bunting
The Indigo Bunting lives in northern California, southern Canada, southern Florida, and northern South America. Their preferred areas are open woodland, brushy areas, farmland, and places where fields meet forests.
- Indigo Bunting is a Sparrow-sized stocky bird.
- It has a short tail and conical bill.
- Adult males are overall bright blue with darker blue on their heads.
- Females and immature ones are brownish with darker on the wings.
- The average length of an Indigo Bunting is about 12-14 cm.
Like the Eastern Blue, the Indigo Buntings have the dominant blue color on its upper side. Also, both species’ heads are covered with blue color. And both of their eyes are dark black.
Except for the prominent blue color, these two species can be easily differentiated. The Eastern Bluebird’s blue color is brighter than the indigo bunting. And their lengths are different too.
The rusty color on the eastern Bluebird is absent on the Indigo Bunting. Also, the bill shape is conical on the Indigo Bunting.
04. Lazuli Bunting
Another member of the Bunting family is Lazuli, which is native to southern Canada, central Mexico, northern Texas, southern California, and Arizona. They prefer weedy pastures and brushy areas with proper water access.
- Lazuli Bunting is stocky is small, stocky songbird.
- It has a cone-shaped bill and a gently sloping forehead.
- Adult males are brilliant blue.
- The breast has a pumpkin color with a white belly.
- Females and immature ones are warm browns with blue tints.
- The average length is about 13-15 cm.
The prominent blue color is identical to the Lazuli Bunting. Also, their rusty color on the breast is similar to the Eastern Bluebird. Both of the species have comparatively larger heads.
The blue color is brighter on the Lazuli Bunting than the eastern blue. Also, the blue color is wider on the eastern Bluebird. The white color on the belly of Lazuli Bunting is more identical. Also, Lazuli has white on its wings too.
The rusty color is much wider on the eastern Bluebird than the Lazuli. The conical bill of the Lazuli Bunting is identical.
05. California Scrub-Jay
The California Scrub-Jay is native to southern British Colombia, western Nevada, California, and throughout western North America. It prefers urban areas and frequently visits your backyard birdfeeder.
- It is a comparatively large songbird with an average of 25 to 30 cm in length.
- California Scrub-Jay has a long tail and stout bill.
- Adult males are affluent in azure blue and gray.
- The underside is pale white.
- Juveniles are gray above and blue tail.
The blue color above California Scrub-Jay will remind you of Eastern Bluebird. The tail and wings are also covered with blue as the Eastern Bluebird. Both of their bellies have pale blue or white.
There are a lot of differences you can identify between these two species. The California Scrub-Jay is larger than the Eastern Bluebird. The rusty color on the eastern Bluebird is absent on the Jay.
The bill and the tail of the California Scrub-Jay are much longer than the bluebirds. Also, the white color on the breast and belly are identical on the California Scrub-Jay.
06. Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay
The Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay is native to southeastern Oregon, Central Mexico, and southern Idaho. The prefers areas with low scrub, pinon-juniper forests, oak woods, and mixed evergreen forests for living.
- Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay has a similar length as California Scrub-Jay.
- It’s a large, slender songbird.
- The tail is long and has a stout bill.
- It has a greyish belly, whitish throat, and light blue breast band.
- Adults are light blue and gray above.
The Eastern Bluebird and Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay have prominent blue colors on their back, wings, and head. Both of them has pale color in the below parts of their body. Although the Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay is comparatively larger, their appearance is the same.
The blue color on the Eastern Bluebird is much brighter than the Scrub-Jay. Also, the rusty color of Bluebird is absent on the Jay. And scrub-Jay is comparatively a larger bird species than the Bluebird. And the white color on the belly and the lower parts is different from the Bluebird.
Eastern bluebirds can sometimes be confused with other birds. But, if you check them closely, you can easily differentiate them. Once you encounter any of them in your backyard, offer them their favorite treats.
However, we hope you have learned a lot about the birds that look like eastern bluebirds. If you have any experience with any of them, comment down below. Get in touch with us through Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.