North America is filled with many wonderful birds with blue heads – in fact, there are 16 birds that you can spot with blue heads. Have you spotted a bird with a blue head that you’re looking to identify? Look no further than this article.
This list will list all 16 birds and help birdwatchers find and identify all birds of North America that have blue heads with both pictures and calls.
1. Common Grackle
The common grackle is a species of large icterid bird found in large numbers throughout much of North America.
Adult common grackles have a long and dark bill, pale yellow eyes, and a long tail.
Adults often have a glowing appearance on their heads, especially males.
East of the Rocky Mountains, common grackles can be found all over North America. This bird is a permanent resident in much of its range. Northern birds migrate in flocks to the Southeastern United States.
Common grackles have an omnivorous diet. They eat eggs, berries, seeds, insects, minnows, frogs, grain, and even small birds and mice.
In winter, common grackles especially tend to forage and roost at night in large flocks, even with different birds; these flocks sometimes contain millions of individuals.
To learn more about the Common Grackle you can visit: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/common-grackle
2. Eastern Bluebird
With rich blue, white, and rusty-red plumage, the eastern bluebird is one of the birds with blue heads. It is a little migratory bird native to North America that frequents open forests, agricultural areas, and orchards.
Male bluebirds have bright heads, backs, and wings. Their breast is a brownish red. Females are lighter, with gray on the head and back and some blue on their wings and tail.
An adult bluebird consumes insects and other invertebrates for around two-thirds of its diet. The remainder is made up of wild fruits or berries. It has a preference for grasshoppers, crickets, katydids, and beetles and will also eat earthworms and snails.
You can find eastern bluebirds in patchy vegetation, large trees, meadows, and old fields, especially from March to August.
To learn more about the Eastern Bluebird you can visit: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/eastern-bluebird
3. Painted Bunting
The painted bunting is a species of bird in the Cardinalidae family. It is native to North America.
No songbird in North America has more eye-catching colors than the male Painted Bunting. People often say that the male-painted bunting is the most beautiful bird in North America. This has given it the name nonpareil, which means “without equal.”
For most of the year, Painted Buntings eat seeds, but they switch to eating insects during the breeding season.
Painted Buntings spend their summers in the United States and Mexico. Their summer range is mainly in the United States, with only a tiny portion of northern Mexico near Texas included.
They go far into Central America and Mexico during their winter migration. Some spend the winter in the Caribbean, namely in Cuba.
To learn more about Painted bunting you can visit: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/painted-bunting
4. Indigo Bunting
The Indigo Bunting is a tiny seed-eating bird native to the Americas that belongs to the cardinal family. The adult male generally takes on a vibrant cerulean blue color during the breeding season. Only the head is blue. The wings and tail are black with cerulean blue edges.
They eat insects, seeds, and berries during the breeding season, including caterpillars, grasshoppers, spiders, beetles, and grass seeds. During the winter, they eat mostly grass seeds, but they also eat buds and insects when they are available.
In the eastern section of the United States, indigo buntings are common.
Look for them in the summer and during their spring migration. They can be found in some areas of the southwest as well. They migrate to the southern tip of Florida, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America for the winter.
Indigo buntings migrate at night, much like many other songbirds, and follow the stars for direction.
To learn more about the Indigo Bunting you can visit: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/indigo-bunting
5. Green Jay
The Green Jay is a long-tailed bird with a small crest. It is around the size of a Blue Jay however it’s wings are more rounded and shorter. Most of this jay species’ body is covered in pastel green plumage.
They have black patches surrounding their eyes, bright blue heads, black chests, and black throats.
Insects and plant matter make up a large and diverse portion of the Green Jay’s diet.
They can be found throughout Texas’ Gulf Coast, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras.
If you’d like to see a Green Jay in action, your best hope is to go to a wildlife refuge close to Texas’ gulf coast, in an area of woods and sagebrush.
To learn more about the Green Jay you can visit: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/green-jay
6. California Scrub-Jay
The California Scrub-Jay rightly deserves its place on this list because of its blue head. It is a medium-sized bird weighing around 80 g that measures between 27 and 31 cm in length (including its tail) and 39 cm in wingspan.
Throughout the spring and summer, California scrub jays mostly eat insects and fruit. Fall and winter are when they switch to nuts and seeds, particularly acorns. In addition, they prey on tiny animals like lizards and young birds.
Look for them near oaks: in oak scrub, oak woodlands, and the oak savannah of California’s Central Valley.
They also live in the dense, shrub-choked chaparral and coastal sage that line coastal hillsides, as well as in mangrove forests at the tip of the Baja California peninsula, Mexico. Sunflower seeds and peanuts from bird feeders are favorites of California Scrub-Jays.
In your yard, a couple may decide to construct a nest if there are any thick bushes or tiny trees.
To learn more about the California Scrub-Jay you can visit: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/california-scrub-jay
7. Blue-headed Vireo
The blue-headed vireo is characterized by its blue-gray head and striking yellow wing bars, as its name indicates. Size and plumage are quite comparable between the sexes. Additionally, juveniles have similar plumage. This bird was previously known as the Solitary Vireo, along with Cassin’s Vireo and the Plumbeous Vireo.
Blue-headed Vireos primarily eat insects like bugs and beetles. They have robust jaw muscles for a songbird, allowing them to ingest and digest prey with their hard carapaces. In the winter, they often feed on grapes and berries as well as moth caterpillars.
The blue-headed vireo lives in North America and has a large breeding range that includes much of Canada and the northern United States. It breeds from most of southern Canada to Newfoundland, south along the Atlantic coast states, and south in the Appalachians. It spends the winter in Central America and the southeast United States.
To learn more about the Blue-headed Vireo you can visit: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/blue-headed-vireo
8. Blue Grosbeak
The blue grosbeak is a medium-sized passerine bird in the Cardinalidae family.
Adult males have a dark and rich blue color, and they have a little black mask in front of their eyes, chestnut wingbars, and a black-and-silver beak. The majority of females have a deep cinnamon coloration.
Their heads are a darker shade of hue than the rest of their bodies, and their tails have a bluish tint.
Its primary food source is insects, but it will also consume other arthropods, such as snails and spiders, as well as seeds, grains, and wild fruits. The blue grosbeak does the majority of its foraging on the ground.
The blue grosbeak is a North American bird. They can be found in the northern hemisphere. They range from the south in Ecuador to the north in Idaho, as well as throughout Central America, Mexico, and the West Indies.
They like to hang out in thickets of thorny vines and briars.
This elusive creature prefers to stay out of sight, making it difficult to spot in backyards. But in the summer, you can find them trying to extract seeds from fields.
To learn more about the Blue grosbeak you can visit: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/blue-grosbeak
9. Tree Swallow
The tree swallow is a migrant member of the Hirundinidae family. Glamorous and stunning, the Tree Swallow is a welcome sign of spring throughout much of North America.
They have blue-green backs and white underparts. Females’ backs are dull greenish brown to nearly as shiny as males’. Immatures are gray-brown and lack iridescence. Tree Swallows have less white than Violet-green Swallow.
Swallows have a wide diet, but they are considered to be insectivores. When they have young to feed in the nest, they will spend hours flying around and snatching insects. Its diet consists mainly of insects, but also includes mollusks, spiders, and fruit.
Both the United States and Canada are breeding grounds for the tree swallow.
It spends the winter along the shores of the southern United States, south along the Gulf Coast, into Panama, and along the northwestern coast of South America, as well as in the West Indies.
To learn more about the Tree Swallow you can visit: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/tree-swallow
10. Blue-headed Quail-dove
The blue-headed quail-dove, also called the blue-headed partridge-dove, is a shy, chubby dove that can only be found in Cuba. With only 1,000–2,500 individuals left in the wild, this stunning bird is at risk of extinction.
As its name suggests, the blue-headed quail-dove has a cobalt blue head along with black and white spots.
This species spends much of its time foraging for seeds, berries, and snails on the forest floor. Although typically seen in pairs, as many as 18 were discovered at a single watering place in 1995. Most nesting takes place from April to June, and the nests are built on or close to the ground.
There is only one known population of this species, and it lives in Cuba.
This species is very rare and has a small overall population and even smaller subpopulations, and its numbers are steadily going down because of things like hunting, predators, and the destruction of its natural environment by humans.
As its name suggests, this animal is most at home in lowland woods and swampy regions. Sometimes you can spot them in the woods up high.
11. Shining Honeycreeper
The Shining Honeycreeper is a little bird that measures 10 centimeters in length, weighs 11 grams, and has a long, decurved black bill. It resembles the Purple Honeycreeper.
The male has brilliant yellow legs and black wings, a tail, and a neck. The female is generally green, with a greenish-blue head, a buff neck, and bluish underparts that are striped with buff. The immature resembles the adult female, but its head and breast are greener.
Their diet consists primarily of fruit, insects, and nectar. The arthropods they eat are gathered from vines and twigs, but they also sally for flying insects and explore decaying leaves. From southeast Mexico to northwest Colombia, you can spot a Shining Honeycreeper. This species is found all over Panama, from the lowlands up to about 1600 meters along the Caribbean slope and the Pacific slope east of the Canal Zone.
12. Black-throated Blue Warbler
The Latin word caerulescens, which means “becoming blue,” was used to name the Black-throated Blue Warbler.
The male lives up to its name with a dark blue back, a bright white belly, and a black head, throat, and sides.
The adult female is olive-brown on top and bright yellow on the bottom. Male and female Black-throated Blue Warblers looked so different at first that people thought they were from different species.
The black-throated blue warbler’s diet consists primarily of insects, but in the winter it also includes fruits.
They eat mostly insects, such as beetles, caterpillars, butterflies, moths, flies, bugs, and spiders. In the summer breeding season, black-throated blue warblers can be found in the northern part of North America.
They can be spotted from the eastern shores of the Great Lakes all the way to the marine regions of Canada. During the winter season, you can find them along the coasts of the Yucatan Peninsula and southern Florida.
To learn more about the Black-throated Blue Warbler you can visit: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/black-throated-blue-warbler
13. Blue Jay
The Blue Jay is one of the most noticeable birds in eastern backyards and woods because of its loud calls and vibrant coloring. Its coloration is predominantly blue, with a white chest and underparts and a blue crest; it has a black, U-shaped collar around its neck and a black border behind the crest.
Blue Jays eat a diverse range of foods, including insects, nuts, seeds, and grains found in trees, bushes, and on the ground. In addition, they take small vertebrates that have died or been wounded.
Although the normal lifespan of a Blue Jay is estimated to be between 5 and 7 years, the oldest Blue Jay ever recorded lived for at least 26 years and 11 months. This bird can be found year-round throughout most of eastern North America.
They’re more abundant near forest edges than in deep forests. They’re common in urban and suburban areas, especially where oaks or bird feeders are found.
To learn more about the Blue Jay you can visit: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/blue-jay
14. Mountain Blue Bird
The mountain bluebird is a species of thrush that is found in the hilly regions of western North America. It is a migratory bird.
Male Mountain Bluebirds are distinguished by their colorful blue plumage, which darkens on the wings and tail and lights up at the bottom.
They also have a white tail band. Females are typically grayish brown overall, with blue tints on the wings and tail. An orange-brown effusion on their breast has been seen in exceptional cases.
This is an omnivorous bird. There are a variety of insects and small fruits in its diet, including spiders, grasshoppers, flies, and more.
Their breeding habitat is western North America, including Alaska’s mountains.
They live all year in a few states, but in the winter they move to Mexico, and in the summer they move to western Canada and Alaska.
15. Western Bluebird
Western bluebirds, like all bluebirds, are thrushes. Bluebirds are smaller than American robins, but their sparkly beauty makes them an enormous cultural emblem of joy and happiness in the United States.
The adult male has a blue head and throat, orange breasts and flanks, a brownish patch on the back, and a gray belly and undertail coverts. The adult female has a duller blue body, wings, and tail, a gray neck, and a dull orange breast. Both sexes have thin, straight bills and short tails.
Although they are omnivores, the majority of a western bluebird’s diet consists of insects. They supplement their diet with fruit and berries throughout the colder months. They also enjoy eating snails, and worms.
The bird has adapted to coniferous forests, farmlands, semi-open terrain, and the desert. The year-round range encompasses California, the southern Rocky Mountains, Arizona, New Mexico, and Oaxaca and Veracruz in Mexico. The Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, and Montana are breeding grounds.
16. Cerulean Warbler
The cerulean warbler belongs to the family Parulidae and is a smaller songbird. This species is a long-distance migrant that nests in the hardwood forests of eastern North America.
Adult males are typically blue and white on top, with a black necklace across the chest and black streaks running down the back and sides. Females and young birds of this species have a yellow underbelly and bluish-green feathers with a white eye stripe. Each individual has a thin, pointed bill and two white wing bands.
It feeds on insects extracted from flowers. Its primary prey is the butterfly and moth, but it also feeds on other winged insects. Within its non-breeding area, it preferentially feeds on Inga trees.
The range of this species extends from the southeastern corners of Quebec and Ontario, through the southern regions of the Great Lakes, and west to Minnesota. It has spread throughout the northernmost parts of North America. In winter, it heads to South America..
To learn more about the Cerulean Warbler you can visit: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/cerulean-warbler