English and Scientific names:

Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides)

Number of individuals: 

One female in first basic


Jefferson Parish

Specific Locality:

Cheniere Caminada Cemetery off LA-1, Cheniere Caminada, ca. 1 mi. W of Grand Isle

Date(s) when observed:

24 December 2010

Time(s) of day when observed:  

~9:30 – 10:00 AM, 3:35 – 4:05 PM CST

Reporting observer and address:

Devin Bosler                                                                                                        Lafayette, LA 70506

Other observers accompanying reporter who also identified the bird(s):

Justin Bosler

Other observers who independently identified the bird(s)

Originally discovered by Joelle Finley during Grand Isle CBC on 22 Dec 2010 (subsequently ID’ed by SWC and Chris Brantley), m. ob.

Light conditions (position of bird in relation to shade and to direction and amount of light):

Clear sky with optimal late morning sunlight.  Sun angle high and behind observer.  Backlighting or glare not a factor.  


Optical equipment: 

Zeiss Victory FL 8x42, Kowa TSN 881

Angled 88mm scope w/ 20-60x optical zoom, Canon Powershot SD1100 IS digital camera (all equipment in excellent condition). 

Distance to bird(s): 

ca. 20-25 meters

Duration of observation:

~60+ min. total


Open, short-grass field and brushy weedy edges surrounded by mangrove-fringed salt marsh in rural residential area.

Behavior of bird: 

Actively sallying down to the ground from snags, road signs, utility lines, etc. for various arthropods.  Silent throughout encounter. 



A relatively stocky bluebird with uniform mouse-gray body plumage, slightly paler on underparts, and whitish vent/undertail coverts.  Light cobalt blue flight feathers of wings and rectrices.  Rectrices edged with black.  Flight feathers translucent in flight.  Bold white eye ring.  All-black bill.  Blackish legs and feet.  Dark irides.  Presumably a first-winter (first basic) individual as apparent by molt limits and darker, worn primary coverts. 




Similar species:

Other Sialia (Eastern and Western Bluebirds) eliminated by lack of buffy-orange wash on breast/underparts.  Slightly larger, longer-winged than other bluebirds. 


Photographs or tape recordings obtained?

Digiscoped photos by Devin Bosler. Yes, photos attached.

Previous experience with this species: 

Prior experience with this species from breeding grounds only.  Observed in several Western states. 


Identification aids:

National Geographic Complete Birds of N.A. (Alderfer et al. 2005)

This description is written from: 

notes made during the observation, notes made after the observation, memory

Are you positive of your identification? If not, explain: 


Yes, very confident.

Date and time: 

16 January 2011, 7:00 PM CST