Tentative bird identification: Female mountain bluebird?

A few days after sighting these birds in my backyard, I spent a little time on Cornell’s All About Birds.org as well as on Whatbird.com, which has an excellent visual step-by-step search function that allows users to choose particular visual characteristics to whittle the selection down. It’s an excellent tool for beginners like myself.

gray bird with blue 3 gray bird with blue 2 gray bird with blue 1

My current theory is that this is a female (or possibly juvenile) mountain bluebird. This is the closest match I can find. The odd thing is that mountain bluebirds aren’t generally found in North Carolina; this would be way out of its range. Perhaps it shouldn’t have taken that left turn at Albuquerque.

Here’s the ID from All About Birds.

I’ll ask around and see what more authoritative types might have to say.

Bird sightings

Or, Brief mental flights of an extremely amateur birdwatcher.

I never cared for bird watching until I went to Costa Rica a year ago. Seeing macaws and toucans and such persuaded me I might have overlooked something in my habitual rushing around.

Not that central North Carolina has anything to offer that’s quite as compelling as, say, a quetzal, but working on a prompt for the Grow Write Guild has got me paying better attention to the things in my garden that already fascinate my cat.

First objective: Learn who it is I’m watching.

I like taking pictures trying to take pictures of birds but it’s extremely challenging. They do move fast, particularly when I’m about to get a good photo. And then, I have little idea who it is I am watching.

profile of woodpecker with red head and speckled wings

I do know this one’s a woodpecker, for instance, but that’s where my knowledge ends.

marbled red bird marbled red bird

This one isn’t a bog-standard cardinal, but beyond that I am (temporarily) at a loss. He has lovely marbling in his feathers.

I do have lots of Eastern Bluebirds, except when I have my camera in hand. Then there’s this guy, who’s blue without a doubt, but not the typical bluebird.

I’ll do a bit of research and see if I can’t identify these fellows. If you know who they are, do drop me a line.