Beautiful Bluebirds in Illinois [Images + IDs]

.2. 2FineBlue is one of the most peaceful colors. It is because of this calming nature of blue color that when we see a blue-colored bird, it always fascinates us. Illinois is home to many bird species due to its farmlands, forests, and wetlands. It is also home to some of the most beautiful bluebirds. Continue reading the blog post to know more about the bluebirds in Illinois.

List of Bluebirds in Illionus

1. Eastern Bluebird

  • Scientific name: Sialia sialis
  • Lifespan: 6 to 10 years
  • Size: 6.3–8.3 in
  • Native to: eastern North America and south as far as Nicaragua

Eastern is a common breeding bluebird in Illinois
Male Eastern Bluebirds have beautiful shades of admiral blue on their top portions. These birds’ wings, tails, and back heads are all painted a bright shade of blue.
Males seem to be wearing a hat because of their partially orange collars. Bluebird males have distinct orange breast with warm rufous brown tones.
Adult females have more grayish-brown coloring on their top portions. But females also have a rufous-orange chest and flanks, blue tail feathers, and blue wing feathers.
Although it migrates in the northern half of its habitat, it is a year-round resident in the southern United States. In Mexico, people from the north spend the winter.
The Eastern Bluebird competes with House Sparrows and European Starlings for nesting locations and builds its homes in holes.
They travel in flocks during the autumn migration and like eating fruits and berries.
Due to a scarcity of nesting cavities and competition from European Starlings, the population of Eastern Bluebirds saw a sharp fall near the end of the 20th century.
But these lovely birds are once again a regular sight owing in large part to the efforts of several Illinois residents who provided nest boxes for Eastern Bluebirds.

2. Indigo Bunting

bluebirds in Illinois

  • Scientific name: Passerina cyanea
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Size: 5-inch
  • Native to: Southern Canada to northern Florida during the breeding season, and from southern Florida to northern South America during the winter.

The Indigo Bunting is a tiny bird with vivid colors. The male is nearly totally azure blue in the summer, with the exception of somewhat darker brownish wingtips and tail feathers.
Inconspicuous females and young birds have light brown upper parts and creamy white underparts.
The Indigo Bunting is a very common bird in Illinois, and it often visits seed-filled bird feeders in parks, gardens, and woodland borders.
Illinois only has one bird that is totally blue.
Since it transitions from eating seeds to mostly eating insects in the summer, this bluebird is most often seen at bird feeders in the spring.
Males often sing when perched in trees during the breeding season.
Since it strictly migrates, Illinois only sees this bluebird in the summer. It migrates in small groups during the autumn migration and spends the winters in Central and South America.

3. Blue Jay (Crested bluebird in Illinois)

bluebirds in Illinois

  • Scientific name: Cyanocitta cristata
  • Lifespan: about 7 years
  • Size: 9 and 12 inches
  • Native to: North America

The Blue Jay, a common bluebird in Illinois, favors open regions with scatted trees and bushes, particularly those with thick undergrowth.
These medium-sized blue birds have brilliant arctic blue wings and tail feathers and are greyish blue on top. They have light grey underparts.
Blue Jays are sociable birds that live in tiny communities known as colonies, each of which has a dominant couple and a number of subordinate individuals.
Male birds in positions of dominance aggressively drive away subordinates while defending their territory from invaders. Young birds and inferior females are tolerated but not safeguarded.
This is Illinois’ most prevalent blue bird.
These birds pounce on food opportunities. In addition to eating carrion, fruit, insects, and small vertebrates, they often steal food from other animals.
Insects make up the majority of their food throughout the summer. Sometimes they capture insects in flight, while other times they use a variety of methods to collect insects on the ground.
These blue-colored birds often forage on man-made objects including buildings, bridges, and telephone poles.
Jays often race along trees or wires while on the prowl for food before swooping down to seize prey.
Although part-migratory, blue jays spend the whole year in Illinois. They may travel during the colder months to places where there is greater availability of food.
Offering peanuts or sunflower seeds to Blue Jays can help them come to your bird feeder.

4. Barn Swallow

  • Scientific name: Hirundo rustica
  • Lifespan: about 4 years
  • Size: 14.6 to 19.9 cm
  • Native to: Europe, Asia, Africa, and America

Nearly all of North America south of the Arctic Circle is home to the barn swallow, which may be found in a broad range of environments.
It features iridescent blue upper parts that, when exposed to sunlight, glitter in a range of dark blue hues.
Its belly is light reddish-orange, with a chestnut orange forehead and neck and a reddish-orange underside.
Another excellent characteristic of the Barn Swallow that you may use to recognize this bird is its highly forked tail.
However, be aware that young barn swallows have duller plumage than adults and a shorter, less forked tail.
The Barn Swallow used to nest in hollow trees and caves but now prefers to do so within barns and under the overhangs of buildings and bridges (which explains how it got its name).
In most locations, these Illinois swallows are still a very frequent sight. However, Barn Swallow populations have generally been declining, particularly in the northern part of their territory.
This fall is probably brought on by the reduction in breeding and foraging locations.
The Barn Swallow is a kind of swallow that feeds on flying insects like mosquitoes and flies, catching them closer to the ground than other swallow species. It consumes termites while residing in its winter habitat.
It is a migratory bird that only visits Central and Southern America during the winter.

5. Black-throated Blue Warbler

blackbirds with blue heads

  • Scientific name: Setophaga caerulescens
  • Lifespan: about 8 years to 10 years
  • Size: 5-inch
  • Native to: the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada

The Black-throated Blue Warbler’s male and female counterparts have strikingly different plumages.
Adult males have predominantly dark blue upper parts throughout the summer, black wings, and a white spot at the base of their primary feathers.
The line of black feathers that separates the white underparts from the blue top parts is clearly visible.
Females and young birds, in contrast, have a greyish-green top and a light yellow bottom.
The Black-throated Blue Warbler may be seen breeding in the northern and central parts of North America from May through August.
It is a bird that strictly migrates, and it spends most of its time in the Caribbean.
Most of the year, these warblers eat insects, but in the autumn, they also eat berries.

6. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

bluebirds in Illinois

  • Scientific name: Polioptila caerulea
  • Lifespan: 3-4 years
  • Size: 3.9–5.1 in
  • Native to: North America

With the exception of its long tail, the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher resembles a warbler quite a little.
Male mature birds have lighter grey underparts and blue-gray top parts. A white stripe may be seen at the edges of the black tail.
Female adult birds have ray-like upper parts and light grey underparts. Both sexes’ eyes have white eyering.
In the temperate parts of North America, the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher breeds, mostly from the beginning of May to the end of August.
It is a seasonal migrant, with year-round inhabitants in the southeastern populations. But many from the north spend the winter in the southern United States and Central America.
The long tail of this bird, which is often tilted upward, is an excellent way to recognize it.

7. Cerulean Warbler (Small bluebirds in Illinois)

small bluebirds in Illinois

  • Scientific name: Setophaga cerulea
  • Lifespan: 6 years
  • Size: 4.5 in
  • Native to: Eastern North American 

Cerulean Warbler is one of the smallest bluebirds in our list of bluebirds in Illinois. It has been progressively losing population over the years, and as a result, they are now considered to be endangered.
Male mature birds have mostly white underparts and baby blue upperparts.
Numerous black stripes decorate the sides, and the secondaries of the wings feature two white wing bars.
Although the sexes similarly resemble each other, a mature female’s blue feathers are replaced with a greenish color in contrast to the male.
In southern Illinois, the Cerulean Warbler is a rare breeding bird that migrates to South America for the winter.
Due to habitat degradation, its population has been progressively falling, necessitating severe conservation measures.

8. Tree Swallow

  • Scientific name: Tachycineta bicolor
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Size: 14 cm
  • Native to: North America

In Illinois, the Tree Swallow is a moderately common bird and is often seen around lakes, marshes, and ponds.
On top, adult Tree Swallows are greenish blue, while their underparts are buff white. They have iridescent feathers that change colour when exposed to sunshine.
Young birds are more greyish brown with a white underbelly, whereas mature females and adult males resemble each other in appearance.
You have the chance to entice this lovely blue-colored bird into your garden since it quickly accepts adequate nesting boxes.
This blue bird is a long-distance migratory that only spends the summer in Illinois because it only eats insects that it captures in the air.
Tree swallows spend the winter in Central America and the region around the Gulf of Mexico.

9. Purple Martin

bluebirds in Illinois

  • Scientific name: Progne subis
  • Lifespan: about 5 to 7 years
  • Size: 7-inch
  • Native to: eastern North America

The biggest martin in North America is the purple martin. The male has an iridescent shine and is nearly totally a dark purple-blue color. Black makes up the tail and wings.
Females and young birds have beige-white underparts with light grey tops. Only the male Purple Martin of all the martin species lacks a belly that is bright in color.
These blue-colored birds have turned to adopt artificial nesting places after historically building their nests in tree holes.
The Purple Martin like to build colonies of hundreds of pairs of nesting birds for its homes. It mostly eats dragonflies and is a good airborne predator.
The Purple Martin sips while flying by skimming the surface of a body of water, much like other species of swallows.
This species of bluebird only migrates, and it spends the winter in South America. In the autumn, it gathers in large roosts that all fly south together.
Installing a Purple Martin home in your garden and playing the Purple Martin sound are the finest ways to attract these beautiful bluebirds to your yard.

10. Belted Kingfisher

bluebirds in Illinois

  • Scientific name: Ardea alba
  • Lifespan: 15 years
  • Size: 3 feet
  • Native to: Asia, Africa, the Americas, and southern Europe

Due to its greyish blue upperside, the Belted Kingfisher superficially resembles a Blue Jay.
On the other hand, the Belted Kingfisher is darker than a Jay and is more often seen near bodies of water.
Almost the whole top of an adult male Belted Kingfisher is teal blue, with the exception of a white collar that divides the cap from the body.
They also have a white belly and a greyish-blue breast band. The rufous orange flanks set females apart from males.
The Belted Kingfisher loves areas that are close to lakes and rivers, where it fishes by plunging into the water headfirst.
As long as there is open water where it may fish, this somewhat migratory blue bird can be observed throughout the year in Illinois.
The Belted Kingfisher migrates to the southern regions of the US during the hard winters.
This bluebird seldom ventures too far from water since it almost exclusively eats little fish.

11. Great Blue Heron (Large bluebirds in Illinois)

bluebirds in Illinois

  • Scientific name: Megaceryle alcyon
  • Lifespan: Around 14 years
  • Size: 11-14 inches
  • Native to: North America

One of the most frequent herons in Illinois, where it may be observed all year round, is the Great Blue Heron.
The wingspan of this heron, a very huge blue bird, may reach six feet. With the exception of a white neck and eye stripe and dark grey wing feathers, it is nearly totally blue-grey.
This huge bird from Illinois enjoys wading in the shallows of lakes, marshes, and ponds to search for little fish.
It carefully awaits a fish of the right size to get near enough to be snatched up by its long, yellow beak.
Additionally, this bluebird forages in grasslands and meadows, stalking rodents there. It is a non-migratory bird that spends the whole year in Illinois.
It will, however, fly to southern states if the winter is really severe and needs open water to catch fish.


What are small bluebirds in Illinois?

The only tiny bluebird in Illinois that is totally blue is the indigo bunting. It is a kind of tiny finch that enjoys visiting seed-filled bird feeders.
Male Indigo Buntings may be heard singing loudly from trees throughout the summer.
The Eastern Bluebird is the only other tiny bird in Illinois with mostly blue plumage, but it can be easily identified from the Indigo Bunting thanks to its rufous orange breast and belly.
If you liked this post, see our list of Illinois’ yellow bird species.

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