Saturday Snapshot July 5: Mountain Bluebird

Six summers ago, I stayed in an isolated log home for a few weeks in Cochrane, Alberta. That was before I’d acquired my iPhone, Nikon, and birding interest. A few days ago I drove back there and revisited the place.

Funny how I was seeing everything from a birder’s POV this time. I brought my camera with me and purposely look for any flying objects, identified or not. I saw this flash of blue fly by, too fast for a focused picture:


A Flash of Blue


Later the blue landed on a tree top. Here’s a slightly clearer view:


Blue Landing 1



Not until I got home and uploaded the photos did I have the chance to find out what bird it was. With a snack in his beak, here’s looking at you, kid. The Mountain Bluebird:


Here's looking at you, kid.



Bluebird in Cochrane 1


Another view, astounding colour:

Bluebird in Cochrane


Alas, Nature has not endowed the female with as much colour, yet in my eyes, she is an equal beauty (a commenter explained this is a juvenile… an equal cutie):

Another Beauty


A flash of blue, a place to land, a bug for snack, a good day.

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. CLICK HERE to see what others have posted.




If you had not visited Ripple Effects six years ago, here are some older posts on my log home experience:

Summer Indulgence (2008)

Nature Photography

From A Country Garden

Music In My iPod

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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

31 thoughts on “Saturday Snapshot July 5: Mountain Bluebird”

  1. Gorgeous photos of beautiful birds. It’s interesting how your focus has changed, isn’t it? Now you can appreciate the beauty around you on a different level. I’m going to hop over and look at your pictures from the past too.
    Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving such a thoughtful comment.


    1. Sandra,

      Looking back at the old posts, I can see my attention was more on flowers and scenery . But I did notice some birds, albeit not knowing anything about them. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.


  2. I know what you mean about the change in perspective. There are some places I’d love to revisit now that I have a “real” camera and a good pair of binoculars!

    We have the Eastern Bluebirds here. There aren’t as striking as your Mt. Bluebird male. He is magnificent. I think your last photo might be a juvenile. They have the same coloring as the female, but the feathers aren’t as sleek. And it looks like the beak still has a bit of a gape.


    1. Leslie,

      The birds were actually quite far, high on the trees. So I’d to crop the pics and they are not too sharply focused. I’ve seen the Mountain Bluebirds on other websites that have even brighter colour. And, in them the female looks exactly the same as this one. If it’s a juvenile, as you suggested, it could be a female juvenile. What do you think? I’ve checked here and here.


      1. What makes me think this is a young bird is that the beak doesn’t look fully developed. The edges of the gape look visible, giving the bird a grumpy look. (That’s the down-turned yellowish edge of the beak – it’s not visible in adults). Compare the beak to the photos in your links and see if you think there’s a difference.

        As for the coloring, juveniles of both sexes look like the female until they grow their adult feathers. Juvenile birds are notoriously difficult to identify and can drive one crazy trying.


  3. What a magnificent creature! You are critical, perhaps, of some of your pictures, but I can’t believe you caught him (or her) in flight! Isn’t it interesting how our interests grow as we do, and the acquiring of objects such as an iPhone and Nikon can be truly beneficial. I just have to be careful not to let them take over my life!


    1. Bellezza,

      You’re absolutely right about technology. They are indispensable nowadays, and so highly addictive. I’m beginning to read more on my iPad than actual books now, just because it’s more handy and I can read in bed at night without turning on a light. And yes, I’m reading a book for Paris in July, still not finished, and waiting for a DVD to come out on a film. Paris is on my mind for sure. 😉


    1. Thanks Shari. I’m most interested in the birds in your neck of the woods… shorebirds by the B.C. coast, and the song birds too.


    1. Louise,

      Yes, you’re right about revisits. On the other hand, I’d love to explore new birding environs too. I’m sure there are lots more that I know nothing about.


    1. laurel,

      Yes, I love the blue. And yes, that header pic was taken when the ice was melting in a reservoir in late winter and early spring a couple of years ago.


  4. As usual, fantastic shots, Arti. I especially love the disgruntled expression on the female’s face knowing that the male’s coat is so much more flashier than hers. Okay, I admit it: I’m projecting. Maybe I’m more than a little bird-brained myself.


    1. LA,

      But that’s exactly true though, that usually male birds are much more spectacular in colours. These pictures aren’t that great in showcasing the Mountain Bluebirds. Look here and you’ll be amazed. And, as a birder, I’m beginning to feel that maybe a bird-brained mode is the best way to communicate with the subject. 😉


  5. My aunt in Kansas City feeds and houses bluebirds. I suspect they’re the Eastern bluebirds, but they certainly are pretty. Your photos are marvelous. Here’s my knowledge about bluebirds: if you want to attract them, put mealworms in your feeder.

    What’s most amazing is that I remember your visit to this place from six years ago. We’d just met, and I enjoyed your posts so much. Little did I know that six years later, I’d be enjoying them even more, or that I would have learned so much from you!


    1. Linda,

      I can’t believe it’s been six years since my home renos. Many of the boxes I moved down to the basement are still there, unopened. I’m so numb to how time passes. It’s been seven years since I started blogging, and o how that had changed my views. Just now I looked back into the photos I took during my Houston visit, it was July 19, 2010. That was a most interesting encounter… from virtual to real. I’ve always cherished that experience. Since then, I’ve not had another such kind of meeting. 😉


  6. Having enjoyed your gorgeous birding photography and having the dickens of a time trying to get a shot merely for identification, I can appreciate the clarity of these blue bird shots. The feathering is so nicely shown, esp on the female.


    1. nikkipolani,

      I might be too critical as Bellezza said above, but, I’m still leaving a better tele lens on my Christmas list for this year. All these pics here I’d to crop so much. As for clarity, nothing beats your butterfly pics. 😉


  7. You know, I have never, ever seen a bluebird and the photos are so amazing! How I would love to look up and see that fabulous splash of blue! Gorgeous photos, perfect in every way!


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