Hi all. Now that I have the western meadowlark, I'd like to add western and mountain bluebirds to my list. I did see some juvenile mountain bluebirds at 100 Mile House last summer but well...there's something about seeing that full brilliant blue colour. I noticed some comments on mountain bluebirds out here at this time of year. Where are the best places to look for them? How common are they? and... how long do they stay out this way? I noticed there was one in late March seen on the Vancouver RBA. Also, looking at the map in the big Sibley's guide, Western bluebirds should be here in the summer but I have never seen them...are they not very common and are there specific places where one could see them? Thanks, Jeff
Also thanks for the info on White-crowned sparrows--very interesting.
Jeff: Regarding Mountain Bluebirds in this area - almost every year since we moved here to Harrison Mills at the edge of the Chehalis Estuary - I have seen Mountain Bluebirds - the first time they were right in close to the development where I live and I was completely taken by surprise by them being there. There was quite a large flock and they stayed for several days. That particular year it was the last week of March when I saw them. Since then, the only way I have seen them in the area is to walk out through the grasslands to the Chehalis River and there have been a few (never as many as the first time) out along the banks of the Chehalis. Last year I saw one out there as early as March 5th. This year we went out both early in March and again last weekend and haven't seen any Mountain Bluebirds. I'm finding this spring to be very different from most springs, bird wise, not just with the Bluebirds. I don't know if they are late or just what is going on.
Some places not quite so local, where you can almost be guaranteed to see Mountain Bluebirds are places like the Kane Valley (where my husband and I are headed at Easter for some birding and one of the goals is to get some good photos of Mountain Bluebirds), along the Hope Princeton Highway as you head into Princeton, the area around Logan Lake (we are also heading to Tunkwa Lake Provincial park on this particular trip) and the Okanagan. I have freinds currently birding in the Okanagan and they have see both Mountain and Western Bluebirds this trip.
As for the Western Bluebirds - I too have seen them in the Clinton area but the only other place I have seen them is in the Okanagan - you have to get out of the valley itself and take some of the quiet mountain roads - I think it is called White Lake Road just outside of Okanagan Falls where I have seen them. There is also a lake called Sawmill lake up the hillside to the west of Oliver (4 wheel drive recommended) where I have seen them - in fact that is a very 'birdy' place.
Ive only seen a handful of mountain bluebirds in the area myself, all in the spring in similar timing to Kathy's records, although I did find a female at Boundary Bay in Jan (?) which was quite a surprise!
Western Bluebirds have gone the way of the Gerry Oaks. I think the ones that were seen here were when the Gerry Oak stands were more wide spread as the western bluebirds like that kind of habitat. So less Gerry Oaks and more starlings pushed them right out of the area. Ive seen them in the Okanagan as well.
Gord Fraser Valley Birding Administrator eBird Regional Editor (Fraser Valley)
Hi Jeff, I saw 3 male Mountain Blue Birds (BOBL) In Aldergrove on the March 16 and 18. I've been keeping records since 1993 when Jack Mussell spotted 30 on Carey Island near the Fraser River NW of Jesperson rd. on Feb 1, 93. I went out the next day and saw 8 MOBLs. Since that time I see or hear about some each year most come through on migration (up the Fraser) to the interior of the province between the 7 and the 21 of March with the latest record April 1. The Western Blue Bird is gone from the Fraser Valley. It was once a common breeding bird but the cutting of snags and European Starlings change all that. Denis Knopp