Blue eating & hovering


This is a continuation of the previous posting: flying blue. In that I showed Mountain Bluebirds in flight. Here I show them carrying food and (surprisingly) hovering. 

Bluebirds visit us each spring, and while it is true that a few do nest here, the exciting time occurs when there are many of them on their way north.

The Mountain Bluebird is blue — well, at least the male is. Here, he is siting on a bush in the grasslands and watching for something to eat. I thought he was looking for ants, but that turns out not what he was after.

The female has much less blue on her — a bit on the wing and tail. This one looks pregnant.

Upon spotting something, the bluebird flies down to the grass to fetch it. It seem that this exercise is often unsuccessful.

But, now and then it catches a grub, which it takes to a bush and eats.

My most spectacular shot of a male Mountain Bluebird with a grub is this one.

It then flew towards a bush where it swallowed the grub.

Here are three pictures showing the Mountain Bluebird hovering. I have never seen it hover for long — perhaps two seconds. This particular bird hovered for about a second and what is shown is one half-cycle of its wings. When it is hovering over a spot in the grasslands, it is perfectly still except for the wings. I have kept the trees in the picture to show this.

The wings are now halfway down.

And now they are all the way down. I saw bluebirds hovering over the grasslands, now and then, while it searched for grubs. But, in spite of my repeated attempts, I only managed pictures one time. Note that while hovering, it is not horizontal, sloped upwards.


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8 Responses to Blue eating & hovering

  1. Karen Pidcock says:

    I’d so like to spy with my eyes a Western Bluebird…appreciating the contrasting colours to the Mountain BB. I live in the wrong forest place…

  2. Allan Hobden says:


  3. colleen says:

    My favorite bird that I so rarely see! Thank you for such a treat. Stunning!

  4. Christine Boyd says:

    Wow – Nature, the face of God. Love your passion for Nature, Alistair. These are so beautiful!

  5. Carl Smith says:

    Amazing shots Alistair

  6. Gail Frampton says:

    I love those photos!

  7. cynthia says:

    We may have been waist deep in flight photos, but only Alistair (dad) got good photos of it hovering and grubbing! And believe me, I tried.

  8. Gail says:

    Have to be patient to get these shots. Great photos

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