Mountain Bluebird Tribute to Fathers

Male Mountain Bluebird in a breezeMale Mountain Bluebird in a breeze

Yesterday my post focused on female Mountain Bluebirds and today I am presenting males in honor of Father’s Day. I was blessed to have two fathers, one who died when I was very young and later on my second Dad came into my life and passed away in 2007. Both of them are deeply missed, especially on this day.

Mountain Bluebird males help the female feed their nestlings and they are great providers, that is if you like insects, spiders and caterpillars! This male Mountain Bluebird was photographed in Montana, the breeze was blowing hard that day and for a few seconds he struggled to keep his balance on his perch. I guess some human dads struggle to stay on the pedestals we as children place them on too.

Male Mountain Bluebird with prey for its nestlingsMale Mountain Bluebird with prey for its nestlings

Mountain Bluebirds hover at times like American Kestrels do when they are hunting. They must have great eyesight to see small insects and spiders before they dive down to capture them. I think this one caught a spider in the shrubs in a valley in Montana.

Mountain Bluebird male bringing in prey for its youngMountain Bluebird male bringing in prey for its young

This male Mountain Bluebird brought in a rather hairy looking caterpillar to the nest box for his young.

Mountain Bluebirds are secondary cavity nesters and the bluebird boxes that have been put up all over the country has helped the bluebirds return from serious declines in previous decades.

Thanks to Neil Paprocki of I found out about “The Bluebird Man“; Al Larson, who has been putting up Bluebird nest boxes and monitoring them since 1978 and he has banded and astonishing 27,000 plus bluebirds in Idaho and who is continuing to monitor them at 91 years of age. In the near future I will do another post on this fascinating man and the movie that is producing about Al Larson, bluebirds and other secondary cavity nesters.

Beautiful blue Mountain BluebirdBeautiful blue Mountain Bluebird

This male Mountain Bluebird was photographed in Fremont County, Idaho not far from Henry’s Lake and Island Park. The blue of these males outshines sapphires!

I wish every dad who reads my blog a Happy Father’s Day and I hope you enjoy myMountain Bluebird Tribute to Fathers!


*I am on the road again, you might think I  am trying very hard to not let moss grow under my feet and you would be correct! Please feel free to share my posts with your family and friends.


  1. Michael July 26, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Absolutely beautiful shots Mia. I love all your bluebird pictures. I found your site while searching Google on Mountain Bluebirds, gald I found you. We don’t have the Mountain Bluebirds where I live here in South Carolina but we have the Eastern Bluebirds.

    I have 4 boxes this year, all were full with the frist brood back in April/May. Now I have one box with a second that started a few weeks ago. This pair and their fledglings are hanging around, I hope they stay. Started feeding them mealworms to help them.

    love your pictures!!
    Bluebirds Eating Live Mealworms

  2. Prairie Birder June 17, 2013 at 1:00 am

    Male Mountain Bluebirds are so beautiful! This is a great post for Father’s Day, Mia!

  3. eric c11 June 16, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    so cute this bird, with an amazing blue, so intense =))
    thanks mia for this pictures, have a nice day ☼

  4. M. Firpi June 16, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    The colour is so vibrant and intense!

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2013 at 9:41 am

      Maria, it really is an intense blue and a joy to the eyes. Thanks!

  5. Eileen June 16, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Love the pretty bluebirds, lovely photos, Mia!

  6. judy watson June 16, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Mia. Mia. Mia. Your photos hurt my eyes.
    They are toooooo beautiful! haha
    How do you do it?! How do you have the one at the birdhouse feeding the young so in perfect focus?
    I just love your bluebirds! You are amazing.

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2013 at 9:39 am

      Thank you Judy, Judy, Judy 😉

      I practice a lot and then I practice some more. I spend enormous amounts of time in the field, probably more than anyone could guess.

  7. Neil June 16, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Great captures Mia! I love the way the sky blue deepens as it runs into the black of the wing tips. Things you notice when you watch birds for a long enough time. Thanks also for the movie mention, I can’t wait to share more about Al’s unique life story with your readers.

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2013 at 9:38 am

      Neil, I am back home again so you will be hearing from me soon!

      Watching & photographing birds is an addiction to me, I can never seem to get enough and I hope that like Al Larson I will be enjoying my “addiction” into my 90’s.

  8. Bob Bushell June 16, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Terrific pictures of the Mountain Bluebirds, I love them.

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2013 at 9:36 am

      Thanks Bob, they are flying jewels!

  9. patty chadwick June 16, 2013 at 7:47 am

    What an amazing team you and Ron are! Your marmot shots, and the bluebird shots are gorgeous! Like living, flying jewels…I love the soft, smooth, subtle colors of the female as much as the more flamboyant colors of the males. The female cardinals we have are like that, too…very subtle, very beautiful,though less showy. As the mother of four, I’m going to enjoy this “Fathers’ Day ” gift as much as any of the men out there. Thanks, again for sharing…PS. Moss is lovely stuff and awfully nice underfoot. but you sure as heck don’t want it to grow there when there is so much to see and do (rocks, sand, crunchy leaves, water, warm mud, dew-soaked grass, even an occasional cow pie can all be nice under foot, but don’t let any of them grow there!).

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2013 at 9:35 am


      Thanks very much for all the kind comments you have posted here. I celebrate all of nature but I really don’t want moss growing under my feet so I get out there as much as possible! Your words about the cow pies made me laugh, I probably stepped in one not long after learning to walk since I was a farmer’s daughter!

  10. Larry Jordan June 16, 2013 at 7:41 am

    I was wondering why only the female Mountain Bluebird yesterday. The male is beautiful as well (of course). I really like the first image Mia, the different shades of blue really stand out. I salute Al Larson and hope I am still monitoring bluebird nest boxes when I’m 91! I can’t wait to see the movie!

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Larry, I hope we are both still actively watching, monitoring, advocating for and photographing birds & wildlife when we are 91!!

      Thanks so much for your comment.

  11. Stu June 16, 2013 at 7:32 am

    What a great post..especially the narrative. Thanks Mia for all your wonderful images..

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2013 at 9:30 am

      Thank you Stu for all of your comments & support

  12. Julie Brown June 16, 2013 at 6:39 am

    Beautiful series, and a lovely tribute to fathers.

  13. Tammy Karr June 16, 2013 at 5:21 am

    What a beautiful post, Mia! This Bluebird definitely shines brighter than a sapphire:) Al Larson sounds like a remarkable person~I look forward to reading more about him!

    • Mia McPherson June 22, 2013 at 9:27 am

      Tammy, I am also looking forward to learning more about Al Larson and the upcoming release of the video about secondary cavity nesting birds that is filming!

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