7 Small Blue Backyard Birds

When it comes to blue backyard birds, the Blue Jay is one that naturally springs to mind. But the blue plumage is luckily not unique only to them. There are several small bird species that sport plumage colored in various shades of blue.

Without being exhaustive, I’ll list some of the common bird species that are blue and which you’re likely to spot in your very own backyard.

I’ll also touch upon their feeding preferences so you can plan to attract more of these birds to your yard if you wish so.


A stunning species of small bird with an azure blue back and rose beige breast, the Bluebird genus contains several species commonly named based on their distribution in North America.

In Western North America we have the Mountain Bluebird, there’s also the Western Bluebird in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and the Eastern Bluebird mostly in the U.S. Gulf states.

Of all these, the Mountain Bluebird has mostly blue plumage, while the color pattern of other Bluebird species includes streaks of black, white undersides, and orange or beige breasts.

As for the type of habitat they prefer, most will choose open grassland with scattered trees. They’re popular in gardens and backyards because of their appetite for insects.

When insects go out of season, Bluebirds will switch to eating berries. Therefore, having berry shrubs in your garden can offer them a plentiful source of food that will surely attract these birds to your yard.

Bluebirds build their nests in tree cavities, usually in a natural hollow of a tree or abandoned woodpecker holes. They will even use birdhouses or nest boxes.

This bird will typically produce 2 or 3 broods per season. Both parents take part in feeding their young and the young of previous broods may also help.

Indigo Bunting

Common throughout most of North America, except for some coastal regions, the Indigo Bunting is a small bird with stunning blue plumage.

They have silvery conical bills, black beady eyes, and silvery brown edgings on their wings. Their plumage is blue overall, with the plumage on their heads being a shade darker than on the rest of the body.

Indigo Buntings can be found in the weedy fields or the shrubby areas of open woodlands. Indigo Buntings will forage for insects and seeds in the foliage of low vegetation.

If you want to attract these small blue birds to your backyard, you can stock up your feeders with small seeds like thistle or nyjer. Because of their appetite for insects, live mealworms can also attract them.

During their migration and on their wintering grounds they form large flocks, while during the breeding season they tend to stay in small numbers.

An endearing aspect of their migratory patterns is how they can guide themselves with the help of stars in the natural night sky. Indigo Buntings possess an internal clock that allows them to adjust their angle of orientation to a star.

Blue Jay

The Blue Jay is one of the most common passerine birds in the United States and a favorite among bird watchers and nature photographers.

The Blue Jay’s plumage features multiple shades of blue in combination with gray, black and white. The result is a truly spectacular color pattern, making this bird simply unmistakable.

Another feature that makes it stand out is the crest on top of its head. The beady eyes and long, narrow bill give the bird an endearing look.

Blue Jays prefer spending their time at forest edges, although they can be found in parks and other suburban or urban locations, especially if they’re oak trees around.

As an omnivorous bird species, they eat a variety of insects including beetles, grasshoppers, and caterpillars. They’ll also feed on snails, spiders, small rodents, eggs, and hatchlings of other birds.

They’ll also visit bird feeders and enjoy suet or sunflower seeds, corn, peanuts, and acorns. If you have a bird bath or a larger pot filled with water in your yard, you can even watch Blue Jays take baths or drink from the bird bath to quench their thirst.

Blue Jays often mimic the call of hawks either to let fellow Blue Jays know that a hawk is present or to make other birds think a hawk is present.

Blue Grosbeak

Another stunning small blue backyard bird, the Blue Grosbeak features vibrant, cobalt blue plumage with chestnut wing bars, and a large silver beak. Females of the species are cinnamon colored, completely lacking any blue.

You can spot these richly colored birds throughout the southern parts of the United States. Although they’re not abundant, they’re spreading their range.

As foliage gleaners, they can be spotted in the shrubs and small trees of open or shrubby habitats hunting for insects. At feeders, they can be attracted with seeds and grains.

The Blue Grosbeak is a close relative of the Lazuli Bunting, which is another blue backyard bird.

However, you can tell them apart by the size of the beak, which is much larger in the case of the Grosbeak, and the white underpants of the Lazuli Bunting.

Also, the Lazuli Bunting features a lighter shade of blue compared to that of the Blue Grosbeak, which is a deeper shade of blue.

As migratory birds, Blue grosbeaks leave their breeding grounds of northern Arizona and northern California and head to Central America for the winter. They winter mostly in the highlands of Mexico.

Red-breasted Nuthatch

The bluish tone of gray on the back of the Red-breasted Nuthatch may not be their most attractive feature, instead its cinnamon red breast is the more noticeable feature.

However, these two colors combined with the white streaks on the head and throat make this little bird another appealing presence in your backyard.

But the Nuthatch is not only an appealing little bird, it’s also a useful one too – its voracious appetite for insects can help keep pest insect populations in check.

They choose mainly coniferous woods including spruce, fir, pine, hemlock, larch, and western red cedar, although in some parts of north-eastern North America you can also find them in some deciduous forests.

The Red-breasted Nuthatch is so agile and acrobatic that it moves up, down and sideways on tree barks.

The bird shows little regard to which way is up or down, creeping with ease on the trunks of trees. It uses its long, pointed bill to probe for insects in crevices and bark flakes.

Western Bluebird

Blue above and cinnamon red and white below, the Western Bluebird can be found in the open parklands of the West.

Males of the species are more colorful with more blue color present in their plumage. Females are gray and brown with only a few blue-tinged feathers.

As flycatcher birds they can be noticed on low perches, swooping down to catch insects in flight. They build their nests in tree cavities or use nest boxes, which is good news if you want nesting pairs of Western Bluebirds on your property.

The diet of the Western Bluebirds is predominantly made up of insects in the summer. Outside of the breeding season, they’ll also feed on berries.

Since they don’t really eat seeds, feeders are not a point of interest to them, unless you try to lure them with mealworms, which they’ll eat.

Therefore, you can attract these bluebirds to your backyard either by placing nest boxes, planting berry shrubs in your garden, or stocking your feeders with mealworms.

Pinyon Jay

The robin-sized Pinyon Jay looks a lot more like a miniature crow since it’s missing its crest that’s iconic for the Blue Jay and the Steller’s Jay. Its beak is also longer than that of the other jays’ and it looks a lot sharper.

The Pinyon Jay features a dusky white throat, light gray belly, while the rest of the plumage is dusky, pale blue.

These birds are rarely seen outside their flocks. They forage in groups for seeds on the ground and in trees.

Their habitat is made up of pinyon-juniper woodland, chaparral, scrub oak, and sagebrush. In some areas, they can be spotted in pine forests as well.

When they’re not foraging for the seeds of pinyon pines, they’ll often visit bird feeders for a quick snack of sunflower seeds, suet, cracked corn, and peanuts.

They bury pinyon pine seeds for later by burying them. Luckily, they have great spatial memory and can remember the places they used for storing them.

Although they’re non-migratory birds that stay year-round in western United States, Pinyon Jays will seek out other areas if cone crops fail.


The small blue backyard birds I listed in this article are some of the most likely to visit your yard, either to forage for insects in shrubs, visit bird feeders for seeds, or to use trees and shrubs as nesting sites.

Some of these birds are migratory and you might only see them during their breeding season, others can be spotted year-round.

None of the birds I listed are destructive to the plants or fruit in your yard, so you can go ahead and encourage their presence in your yard.

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