Get comfortable because you are about to be astonished by the secrets and appearance of these blue flying wonders.

Yes, I said correctly: the blue feathers present in full or partial plumage of some birds are not related to birds’ diet, as it has been proven that the stomach chemicals dissolve the blue pigments contained by fruits, for example (blueberries).

Thus, blue pigments do not even reach into the bird’s circulator system to spread in its body and color its feathers or other body parts.

Then where does the blue color of birds’ feathers come from?

It is not precisely a matter of biology but more likely a matter of physics.

The blue color of feathers is related to how the keratin protein disperse the light: having the same (long) wavelength, red and yellow cancel each other when light strikes.

Only blue remains reflected, having a shorter wavelength than the first two colors.[1]

Further in this article, I invite you to delight yourself with the nine most eye-catching birds with blue feathers.

Nine Birds With Blue Feathers

Ultramarine Flycatcher

Ultramarine Flycatcher
Credit: @rajharshanarayanswamy

Ultramarine Flycatcher (Ficedula superciliaris) is a small flycatcher (smaller than a sparrow) with different plumage for males and females and a characteristic white stripe above the eyes.

The male has an electric-blue plumage on the head, neck, and superior side of its body, and a bright white patch from the middle of the neck, through chest and belly.

The female has dark grey-brown instead of electric blue, and the white parts are paler.

Ultramarine Flycatcher lives in the mountains and hills forests (pine and broadleaf) from the Himalayas and migrates to southern India in wintertime.

As its name suggests, the Ultramarine Flycatcher is an insectivore, the bird foraging insects in the dark spaces from the thick forest.

The breeding season lasts from middle April till early July, and the female lays 3-5 eggs in a soft nest made out of moss, fine strips of grass and peeling, hair and roots, usually in holes of trees (about seven meters high), or in a dent on a steep bank.

Blue Macaw

Blue Macaw
Credit: @zafiroytitania

Blue Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) is the longest parrot species, the largest flying parrot species, and the largest macaw (1 meter long and between 1.2 and 1.7 kg).

Also known as Hyacinth Macaw, Blue Macaw’s plumage is entirely blue, brighter on the upper side, maybe with a shade of grey around the neck to some exemplars, with bright yellow around the eyes and in the laterals of the beak.

Blue Macaw fancies the semi-open areas, in general, and it has a variety of favorite habitats: it prefers forests with a dry season that prevents the excessive growth of vegetation, deciduous woods, cerrado and palm plantations, and the palm-Savannas of Pantanal (Brazil), which is like a big luxury oasis for the Blue Macaw.

The bird is original from eastern South America (Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay).

Most of the diet of Blue Macaw is made out of palm nuts from two palm species (acuri and bocaiuva palms), and the bird usually harvests the nuts directly from the trees.

However, Blue Macaw has another technique to feed itself easier, searching on the cattle lands for excrements of cows containing undigested palm nuts, easier to crack.

The bird is supplementing its diet with fruits, nectar, nuts, and seeds.

Although Blue Macaw nests even on cliff fronts when constrained by the habitat, it usually makes its nest in tall, old trees (over 60 years old) in an already existing hole, which they enlarge and fill partially with wood bits.

The female Blue Macaw lays 1-2 eggs and incubates them for 25-28 days, spending about 70% of its time with the eggs and being fed by the male the entire period.

Blue Macaw is a calm and affectionate bird, often called the “gentle giant”, and is very popular as a pet, despite its alarming decreasing number.[2]

Asian Fairy-Bluebird

Asian Fairy-Bluebird
Credit: @awpc.hk

Asian Fairy-Bluebird (Irena puella) is a medium-sized arboreal bird with noticeable variations of plumage colors between males and females.

The male Asian Fairy-Bluebird is an exquisite combination of pitch-black and electric- brilliant blue, while the female has a mix of malachite and turquoise green.

The Asian Fairy-Bluebird inhabits lowlands forests from southern Asia, the Greater Sudan, and Indochina.

Taking them in flight or perching, Asian Fairy-Bluebird feeds mainly on fruits (figs), nectar from flowers, and termites (which also catch from flying), rarely going down on the ground.

It is not much known of the breeding behavior of Asian Fairy-Bluebird, but from the captive birds have been reported a mating ritual performed by the male that ends with unison calls, mutual grooming, and even chasing between mates.[3]

Siberian Blue Robin

Siberian Blue Robin
Credit: @birder_falcon

Siberian Blue Robin (Larvivora cyane) is a small migratory bird with a notable difference in colors of the plumage between males and females.

The male Siberian Blue Robin has electric blue upperparts and white lower parts, separated by black stripe from the eyes till the curve of the wing, while the female is a bit brownish with tinted blue on the upperparts.

The Siberian Blue Robin lives in areas with thick, small undergrowth (marshes, taigas, spruce woods) from eastern Asia (Siberia, northern China, Korea, Japan) and migrates in southeastern Asia.

As an insectivore bird, the Siberian Blue Robin feeds lurking on the ground after insects and spiders, but it also feeds on grains, seeds, and berries.

The Siberian Blue Robin builds a bowl-like nest, padded with grass, leaves, and moss at the base of a tree or other spot with similar protection.

The female Siberian Blue Robin lays 2-5 eggs that hatch in about twelve days; both parents care for the feeding and raising of the younglings.[4]

Indian Peafowl

Indian Peafowl
Credit: @nick_peker

Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) is a large-sized bird famous for its noble appearance and even more majestic tail.

Well, like the most of species we’ve been talking about, the male is the spectacular one, with a blueish-green crown, metallic blue short curly feathers on the top of the head, a bright blue neck and chest, golden feathers on sides and back, a multi-color train with “eyes” on it.

The female Indian Peafowl (peahen) also has a crown, the tail is smaller, and the plumage is brown, with shiny green on the neck and white on the lower chest and belly.

Native from the Indian subcontinent, Indian Peafowl prefers deciduous forests, margins of forests, and farmlands, near a water supply.

However, Indian Peafowl has been introduced in many other countries like the United States, Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, Brazil, Portugal, Croatia, Australia, New Zeeland due to their exquisite beauty.

With an omnivorous diet, the Indian Peafowl enjoys a large variety of food: trees or flower buds, petals, seeds, nuts (groundnuts), fruits (Zizyphus berries and even bananas), vegetables (tomatoes, chili), rice, small mammals, reptiles, frogs, and small snakes.

The tail’s design, how rich it is, and how many eye dots it has on it is directly connected to the health (immune system especially) of the bird; thus, during the wooing, the male displays its tail to prove to the female that it’s healthy and worthy for breeding.

The challenge for the male Indian Peafowl is that it has to spend a lot of time producing and maintaining good tail conditions and investing less time and energy in finding food or defense.

The length of the tail and the number of the eyespots can show past health conditions (fights or disease); obviously, the “most wanted” males are those with a rich, long tail and the highest number of eyespots.[5]

Blue Rock Thrush

Blue Rock Thrush
Credit: @mizutama3216

Blue Rock Thrush (Monticola solitarius) is a small to medium-sized bird, with the male having an electric blue head, grey-blue upperparts, brown lower parts, and dark wings.

The female Blue Rock Thrush is less strident, with dark brown upperparts and scally pale-brown underparts.

Various subspecies of Blue Rock Thrush are widespread around Europe, North Africa, and Southeast Asia (where they are residents); still, some Asian species migrate to sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and India in the wintertime.

As its name says, the Blue Rock Thrush prefers a rocky habitat in wide-open montane areas, ridges, down of valleys, or (seashore) cliffs.

The Blue Rock Thrushes that choose to come closer to human habitats prefer churches and tall buildings, and they can be seen roosting on rooftops or wires.

The Blue Rock Thrush is also omnivorous, feeding itself with seeds, berries, worms, insects, spiders, and snails; in some areas, the bird is also known to consume snakes, lizards, and mice.

The breeding period of Blue Rock Thrush is approximately from April to July, female building a cup-like nest out of dry vegetation, in a rocky dent, or under a rocky extension.

The female lays 3-7 pale blue-green, mottled eggs incubated for around two weeks, and both parents help raise the younglings.[6]

Formosan Blue Magpie

Formosan Blue Magpie
Credit: @dimosb

Formosan Blue Magpie (Urocissa caerulea), also known as “long-tailed mountain lady”, is a noisy and strikingly colored bird.

Formosan Blue Magpie male and female are similar looking, with black head, a red beak, bright blue plumage, red-brownish wings, white underparts, and long dark-blue tail feathers with white stripes on tips.

Formosan Blue Magpie lives in the foothill and lowlands forests, down till gardens, and parks of Taiwan, where it is endemic.

With the unusual habit of storing leftovers on the ground (and covering it with leaves) or in the leaves or twigs of the trees, Formosan Blue Magpie is an omnivorous bird and a scavenger.

Its diet consists of plants, seeds, fruits, small insects, eggs and chicks of other birds, rodents, snakes, human food waste, and decaying flesh of dead animals (carrion).

The breeding season of Formosan Blue Magpie is from March to July, and the monogamous couple builds together a bowl-alike nest in the large branches of trees at the edge of the forest with meadows.

The female lays 3-8 eggs, some couples breed the second time right after, and the parents get help from the other birds (younglings from the previous hatches) to feed the baby-birds and defend them.

Blue Crowned Pigeon

Blue Crowned Pigeon
Credit: @tierparkberlin

Blue Crowned Pigeon (Goura cristata), also known as Western Crowned Pigeon, is probably the largest pigeon in the world (approximately 66-70 cm in length and 2.1-2.5 kg weight).

The Blue Crowned Pigeon’s plumage is blue-grey, with a light-blue crest and a bright white patch surrounded by a reddish-brown patch;  males and females are similar in appearance, except males are bigger.

The Blue Crowned Pigeon is endemic to the rain forests of Papua, New Guinea.

Living in small groups of two up to ten birds, Blue Crowned Pigeon feeds on the forest floor with seeds, nuts, fruits, and, occasionally, snails.

Blue Crowned Pigeon male courts bowing and waving its tail to female and although sometimes it breeds with more than one female, they mate for life.

The Blue Crowned Pigeon female usually lays one egg which both parents incubate for about one month.

The youngling is fed a mixture called “pigeon milk”, produced by partially digested food.

Splendid Fairy Wren

Splendid Fairy Wren
Credit: @poshbirdphotography

Splendid Fairy Wren (Malurus splendens) is a small, long-tailed songbird, with the breeding male looking the most magnificent.

The male Splendid Fairy Wren is almost entirely blue, with a black line starting at the beak, continuing near eyes, and joining behind the back of its neck.

The female Splendid Fairy Wren is drab brown on the upperparts, with a pale blue tail and reddish beak.

The non-breeding male is brownish-grey with a bright blue tail and a little blue on the wings (visible when folded).

Splendid Fairy Wren prefers dry and shrubby habitats from semi-arid regions of Australia, where it lives in groups.

The bird is also feeding itself in groups, foraging for insects together on the ground or shrubs.

The breeding period is between late August and January when the female Splendid Fairy Wren builds an oval dommed nest of dry grass, shreds of bark, spider webs, and roots, with an entrance on one side, close to the soil, usually covered with thorny plants.

Also, the female lays 2-4 lays eggs and incubates them alone, but the other birds will help feed the younglings once they hatch.

Also Read:

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts