16 Types of Blue Birds in Washington State

Washington State is a bird-watchers paradise, with over 400 species calling it home.

One of the most abundant and fascinating groups of birds in the state is the blue bird.

With their striking blue plumage and melodic songs, these birds captivate the attention of bird enthusiasts and casual observers alike.

From the dazzling Belted Kingfisher to the charming Western Bluebird, Washington State is home to 16 unique species of bluebirds.

In this article, we will explore each of these birds in detail, showcasing their unique characteristics, habitats, and behaviors.

Get ready to be hooked by the beauty and diversity of blue birds in Washington State.

Barn SwallowBarn Swallow
Black-Throated Blue WarblerBlack-Throated Blue Warbler
Blue JayBlue Jay
Belted KingfisherBelted Kingfisher
Indigo BuntingIndigo Bunting
California Scrub-JayCalifornia Scrub-Jay
Pinyon JayPinyon Jay
Purple MartinPurple Martin
Painted BuntingPainted Bunting
Tree SwallowTree Swallow
Red-Breasted NuthatchRed-Breasted Nuthatch
Steller's JaySteller's Jay
Lazuli BuntingLazuli Bunting
Rock PigeonRock Pigeon
Western BluebirdWestern Bluebird
Cliff SwallowCliff Swallow

Types of Blue Birds in Washington State

1. Barn Swallow

Barn Swallow

Observe how the barn swallows sparkles as it glides through the air over the vast fields.

It possesses one of the most notable ranges of any passerine bird, and it is the type of swallow that has the widest range on the whole planet.

They overwinter in the southern hemisphere and have a range that encompasses all six continents, where they reproduce throughout the northern hemisphere.

During the summer season in the state of Washington, barn swallows may be seen in the vicinity of agricultural areas, suburban parkland, and coastline.

Their wings, backs, and tails appear blue, while their undersides are a tawny color.

Their bodies are a brilliant azure color overall.

This species does not generally visit seed feeders, but it is possible to attract it to a stage feeder by placing ground-up eggshells there.

2. Black-Throated Blue Warbler

Black-Throated Blue Warbler

When discussing blue birds that may be found in the state of Washington, the black-throated blue warbler is an obvious choice to bring up.

It is a little bird that only comes out at night and has a lifetime of 3 to 4 years.

The male does have a dark black face and neck in addition to a blue back and head coloration.

The underside is white in color.

The feathers of the female are uniformly grey-olive in color, and its tail and wings have very faint bluish undertones.

The black-throated blue warbler has a distinctive cry that sounds like a husky rising ‘zweee-zweee-zweee.’

The clutch may include anywhere from 2 to 5 eggs, and the incubation period lasts between 12 and 14 days.

Within eight to ten days, the young birds emerge from their nests.

Both of the baby’s parents take turns feeding them.

3. Blue Jay

blue jay

Large passerine birds belonging to the crow genus, blue jays, are endemic to the eastern region of the United States.

Citizens of North America, in which these ubiquitous songbirds spend the whole of the year nestled in oak trees in densely wooded places, are probably already acquainted with them. 

On the other hand, they do not call Washington state home.

During the winter, they make their way to Washington state, where they may be found in scattered groups in the state’s extreme west and east but not in the state’s core region.

These crested birds possess wide, curved tails, and their feathers may range in color from blue to black to white to grey.

4. Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher

North American belted kingfishers are the largest and most active of the kingfisher species found on the water.

This particular bird species may be found on the continent in both its native and migratory forms.

The majority of inhabitants in the U. S. are considered to be permanent residents of their own settings.

However, the populations of these breeds across Canada move southward into the southern United States, Central America, and Mexico.

They are permanent residents of the state of Washington and may be found in the vicinity of water bodies such as ponds, rivers, estuaries, lakes, and streams.

The head of the belted kingfisher is rather big and topped with a bushy crest.

It has white feathers on top and bluish-gray feathers on the bottom, along with a white neck and a blue stripe that runs all across the breast.

5. Indigo Bunting

indigo Bunting

The dazzling indigo bunting is a member of the cardinal family and is a little seed-eating bird that is entirely blue. 

They are wild birds that may be found all the way from Canada to the most northern point of South America, although they spend most of their time in the eastern portion of the country.

However, the indigo bunting is a very uncommon visitor to the state of Washington.

You can only see them in state forests and at the fringes of wooded areas.

These stocky birds possess blue feathers all over their bodies, with a deeper coloration on their forehead.

Their tails are short, and their bills are stout.

In addition to that, both their wings and their tails have a smattering of black across them.

This species favors foods that consist of tiny seeds, such as thistle and nyger.

6. California Scrub-Jay

California Scrub-Jay

The California scrub-jay is a member of the Corvidae family and is classified as a medium-sized passerine bird.

Along the western coastline of the United States, this variety is only found in very specific locations.

They spend their whole lives in the southwestern part of the state of Washington, where you’ll discover them living in oak and scrub forests as well as residential yards close to the water.

They will come more often if you provide sunflower seeds, peanuts, and thick shrubbery for them to hide in.

The underside of this species is white, while the top has a deep blue and grey color.

7. Pinyon Jay

The Pinyon Jay

This species of migratory blue jay is indigenous to the western region of the United States, which is also where they spend the whole year.

The Great Basin is where they are found most of the time.

Pinyon-juniper forests and sagebrush are two of the habitats that non-breeding vagrants may be found in when they make their journey toward southern Washington.

If you set out cracked corn, suet, and sunflower seeds in bird feeders, pinyon jays might arrive to eat a brief snack at your location.

This species resembles a smaller version of a crow and has feathers that are a bluish-gray color overall, with grey chests and white necks.

8. Purple Martin

Purple Martin

North America is home to the biggest swallow in the world, known as the purple martin.

During the mating season, purple martins are most often seen in the eastern portion of the United States.

However, they move south in large groups to spend the winter throughout South America.

Nevertheless, during the summer months, a few breeding populations migrate to western Washington, where they may be found in urban and suburban areas, as well as parkland and open land.

Birdhouses are a favorite of purple martins, and the birds will eat eggshells to aid with digestion.

These swallows, unlike their name, do not have a purple coloration.

They have dark blue bodies that have an iridescent shine to them, and their wings and tails are a dark brown color.

9. Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting

Songbirds of medium-sized, painted buntings are another type of blue-colored bird that may be found in the state of Washington.

In addition to this, they are abundant throughout the United States and migrate across the Mississippi flyway during the winter months in order to reach warmer climates.

They go back to the western regions to spend the summer there.

They are referred to as painted because of the vivid colors seen throughout their feathers.

The male has a yellow spot on the upper back and a red lower back, along with a blue pattern on the top of its head and vivid red underparts and neck.

The females have a uniform brilliant yellow-green color and have a light golden eyering than the males.

The cry of a painted bunting is distinct, resonant, and powerful, and it consists of a number of melodic phrases with a high pitch.

Insects, suet, berries, and seeds make up the majority of their diet, although they also consume certain other foods.

The female lays anywhere from 3 to 4 eggs, which she then incubates for eleven to twelve days.

Following a period of 12 to 15 days after hatching, the newly born birds are ready to leave the nest.

They are only ever fed by their mothers; however, if the females decide to start nesting again, the male may also take up this job.

10. Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Tree swallows are iridescent birds that migrate from the Americas and have a glossy appearance.

They overwinter across Central and South America but hatch across Canada and the northern United States.

Their migration takes them via southern America.

During the summer and spring months, you may spot them all across the state of Washington, where they nest in meadows, wetlands, and along shorelines.

Having to put up a nesting box and cultivating berry bushes are two things you can do to encourage birds to visit your garden.

Tree swallows are easily identifiable by their sleek bodies, long wings that are pointed at the tips, and bluish-green feathers on their heads and upper bodies.

They possess black tails, wings, and face masks, while the undersides of their bodies are white.

11. Red-Breasted Nuthatch

Red-Breasted Nuthatch

Nuthatches are lively songbirds that may be found throughout Canada and the United States.

Their range is rather extensive.

They spend their whole lives in the western side of the United States, including the state of Washington, where they typically occupy forests composed of coniferous trees.

The red-breasted nuthatch is a frequent visitor to bird feeders, and breeding couples are often seen making use of nest boxes.

These birds may be recognized by their small bodies that are a blue-gray hue, their heads that are streaked with white and black, and their underparts that are a cinnamon color.

12. Steller’s Jay

Steller's Jay

The Steller’s jay is a crested jay that is endemic to the mountainous western region of North America.

This crested jay is huge and black in color.

They spend the winters in the central and southern parts of the state, but the rest of the state is their permanent home.

They are more likely to be found in lower evergreen woods that are located close to the slopes of the coast.

You may get them to come to your feeder by putting peanuts, big seeds, and other nuts out there.

These hefty jays possess heads the color of charcoal black and bodies the color of dark blue, with a small hint of lightening towards the tails.

13. Lazuli Bunting

Lazuli Bunting
Credit – Wikipedia

Lazuli buntings get their name from the lapis gemstone, and they have magnificent blue feathers on their upper bodies, white underparts, and orange chests.

The western United States is home to a population of these buntings, which like to live on brushy slopes and thickets.

They go to the coast of Mexico to spend the winters after breeding in the Americas.

This species lives across the majority of the state of Washington, with the exception of the extreme western region close to the shore.

They are common sights at bird feeders, where they eat on nyjer thistle, white proso millet, and sunflower seeds, in that order of preference.

14. Rock Pigeon

Rock Pigeon

The rock pigeon, which is also referred to as the common pigeon, is a bird that is ubiquitous and incredibly widespread over both South and North America.

Rock pigeons reside on both continents during the whole year.

Pigeons may be seen on the streets of most cities in the United States, including those across Washington.

In addition to urban regions, you may come upon them in rural settings and on steep cliff faces.

15. Western Bluebird

Western Bluebird

The Western bluebird is a beautiful bird with a brilliant blue back, rusty chests, and white bellies.

They may be found scattered over the western regions of Mexico and the United States, which is their native habitat.

The eastern and central regions of Washington are home to dispersed breeding populations, which may be found in open forests or on the forest border.

They also enjoy living in disturbed environments, such as woods that have been burned, where they nest among charred trees.

If you put out nesting boxes and meal worms within your garden, these insectivorous animals could pay you a visit.

These birds like to search for their food on the grass, so if you want to get them to visit your property, you could set out some dried corn, peas, and sorghum for them to eat.

The feathers of the rock pigeon appear bluish-gray in color and have an iridescent shine.

This bird is robust and stocky.

16. Cliff Swallow

Cliff Swallow

During the hot summer months in the United States, cliff swallows are a common sight.

They go to South America in the fall to spend the winter after breeding in the United States and Canada.

Hillsides, canyons, and river valleys are some of their favorite places to call home throughout the summer and spring months in the state of Washington, where they may be found living across the state.

These little swallows have wings that are large and circular, and their heads and backs are covered with a dark blue feather that has a metallic appearance.

Their foreheads are white, their cheeks are chestnut or brick-red, and their tails and wings are a brownish-grey color.


In conclusion, the blue birds of Washington State are a stunning reminder of the beauty and diversity of nature.

From the stunning Belted Kingfisher to the endearing Western Bluebird, each species has its own unique characteristics that make them special.

Whether you’re a seasoned bird-watcher or just a nature lover, taking the time to observe these birds and appreciate their beauty is a rewarding experience.

So, next time you’re out in Washington State, keep an eye out for these magnificent creatures and take in the wonder of their brilliant blue plumage and melodic songs.

By learning about these birds, we can also help protect their habitats and ensure that they continue to thrive for generations to come.


How many species of blue birds are found in Washington State?

There are 16 species of blue birds found in Washington State.

What makes blue birds special compared to other bird species?

Blue birds are special because of their striking blue plumage and melodic songs, which make them stand out and captivate the attention of bird enthusiasts and casual observers alike.

What is the most common species of blue bird found in Washington State?

The Western Bluebird is one of the most common species of blue bird found in Washington State.

Are blue birds migratory birds?

Some species of blue birds are migratory, while others are year-round residents of Washington State.

Are blue birds threatened or endangered in Washington State?

Some species of blue birds are considered to be of conservation concern in Washington State, while others are considered to be abundant and thriving.

What is the best time of year to observe blue birds in Washington State?

The best time of year to observe blue birds in Washington State varies depending on the species, with some species being more active during the breeding season and others being more active during the winter months.

Last Updated on March 22, 2023 by Lily Aldrin

About Lily Aldrin

I am Lily Aldrin. I attended Cornell University, where I obtained my degree to become an Ornithologist so I could pursue my love of these magnificent creatures in and out of their natural habitats.

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