Blue Birds in Illinois

Blue Birds in Illinois

Been in Illinois recently and saw a beautiful streak of blue? There are a number of birds in Illinois that are either blue, or have blue on them! If you aren’t sure what you saw, we’ll help you break down the possibilities here on this list.

Blue Birds in Illinois

Of course, there’s always the possibility that you saw an invasive species that isn’t known in the area, but it’s more likely that you saw one of these native or bordering species. 

Let’s take a look at what blue birds occur in Illinois and break down which one you might have seen on your last trail.

From forest-dwelling birds to ones that love the marshes and dry lands, there are plenty of possibilities to check out!

Blue Birds in Illinois

Below is a list of some common blue birds that you might have come across while out in Illinois. Let us know if any of these sound right for your encounter!

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird

The best place to start would be with the bluebirds themselves! The Eastern Bluebird (Sialia Sialis) is typically found in orchards, farmlands, and open woodlands.

It is a small bird that mainly feeds on insects. Their royal blue feathers are striking, and their plump bodies adorable.

The blue coloration can be found on their wings, tail, and the back of their heads, while their bellies are a light brown or beige color.

Some birds have more prominent coloring on their chest, making it appear a warm-toned reddish brown. 

Belonging to the Thrush family, Eastern Bluebirds are related to nightingales and robins, too.

You might recognize their tu-a-wee song next time you’re out walking. Just keep an ear out for a low-pitched, soft song. 

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

Here we have another bluebird on the list. The Mountain Bluebird (Sialia Currucoides) is another small bird that you might come across in your wanderings.

This bird is typically found in western parts of North America, but might be spotted in other areas, too.

They are a migratory species, and make their way from the north as far as central Mexico.

These birds have an electric bluish-turquoise and a white belly. Males are brightly colored, while females are somewhat less so.

These birds are primarily insectivores, and often both perch and fly while hunting their food 

Since these birds also belong to the Thrush family, they look a little like robins or nightingales in their body type.

They have two different songs you might recognize, too! The first song is a repetition warble that they softly sing during the day.

The second is a loud chirruping that you may think sounds similar to the well-known American Robin. 

Steller’s Jay

Steller’s Jay

The Steller’s jay is an attractive, medium-sized bird found primarily throughout the western side of North America.

They range from Alaska, all the way down to the Central American country of Nicaragua.

These birds have large heads, rounded wings, and big, chunky bodies. Their bills are straight and long, much like their tail.

Their coloring is a beautiful blue and gray/black. They have black heads that fade into a beautiful blue on their wings, back, belly, and tail.

You are likely to see one of these birds in forested areas, but be sure to not get too close! Steller’s Jays are notoriously aggressive and bold, especially in camping grounds or picnic areas. 

These birds have a number of sounds that you might recognize. From a series of whistling tunes to popping and gurgling, the Steller’s Jay can string sounds together to make unique songs.

You might hear a repeating, loud shook shook call throughout the year, but these birds are known to mimic the sounds of other things in their environment, so stay on your guard!

California Scrub-Jay

California Scrub-Jay

The California Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma Californica) is another bird you may have spotted out in Illinois.

Despite hailing from states such as California, as the name suggests, these birds have been known to wander.

They are typically found in lowlands that are dry, along areas such as the Pacific Seaboard. However, they also frequent scrubland and some forests.

They have beautiful royal blue coloring mixed with some gray on their back. Their bellies are a whitish brown, except for the blue half-band that goes across their chest. They have surprisingly long legs, and are agile.

The females and males of this species are known for their soft songs that can last as long as five minutes.

Overall, however, these birds may have 20 or more unique sounds that they can sing. 

Purple Gallinule

Purple Gallinule

Although they are named the “purple” gallinule, some may think they are blue.

The Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio Martinicus) is a brightly colored water bird with a blue-purple body coloring.

They have wings that have beautiful greenish feathers, a short yellow-tipped tail, and legs that are bright yellow.

Their short bill is tipped red, and above it sits a small white or light blue frontal shield. 

Found primarily in Southeastern parts of the United States, these birds can be found in marshes and similar environments.

Despite their far southern placement, their vivid and attractive appearance has led to them being spread across other parts of the country. 

Like other birds in the rail family, Purple Gallinules have a number of songs they sing.

From loud laughing, cackling, and clucking, to more guttural calls. These birds have also been known to snap their bills to make loud sounds. 

Final Thoughts

The five birds mentioned on this list are the birds that you are most likely to have come across in Illinois.

Other possibilities may include the Lazuli bunting or the painted bunting, but these birds have little blue compared to the others. 

If you came across a blue bird in Illinois and weren’t sure about what it has, hopefully this list has helped you! Once again, the bird you saw might be a non-native species, but chances are, it was one from this list. 

We hope this helped your search for the mystery bird! Good luck searching.