Rare Fall Vagrant Found in Acadian Peninsula
The Mountain Bluebird is a member of the Thrush Family and is a 'cousin' to our Eastern Bluebird and our American Robin. Its preferred habitat is fields and field edges and mountainous areas. It normally breeds in the Prairie Provinces, British Columbia, the western states and northwards into Alaska and Yukon. It winters in southern California, Nevada, Arizona, and northern Mexico. So the bird that was found here should be headed for Arizona now. It is rare to find this species here but it does happen occasionally. One was seen in 1996 in Caraquet and one in Pennfield in 2000.
Why is this bird here? We don't know for sure but it is thought that their navigation system gets damaged somehow so instead of travelling southwest, they travel northeast, for example. It could have also got caught up in high winds during a weather system which blew it way off course.
|Mountain Bluebird [L Legere Photo]|
The Mountain Bluebird flies like our Robin. It has long primary feathers and the long primary projection is a way to tell it from the Western or Eastern Bluebird when there is a question. This could happen when sometimes the female shows a bit of orange tinge on its breast causing some confusion. The primary projection is a technical term used by serious birders and denotes the length the primary feathers project over the tail in a sitting position.