bluebird

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bluebird,

common name for a North American migratory bird of the family Turdidae (thrush family). The eastern bluebird, Sialia sialis, is among the first spring arrivals in the North. It is about 7 in. (17.8 cm) long. The plumage of the male appears vivid blue in bright light and black at a distance; the breast is cinnamon-red, the under parts white. The female's coloring is duller. The bluebird usually nests in orchards or on the edges of woodlands but will also use nesting boxes. As a destroyer of insects it is of great value; it also eats wild fruits. Related birds are the mountain, the western (genus Sialia) or chestnut-backed, and the Florida bluebirds. Bluebirds have a cheerful call and a sweet, warbling song. They raise several broods during a single mating season. The female is responsible for the incubation duties. Bluebirds are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, family Turdidae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/

bluebird

1. any North American songbird of the genus Sialia, having a blue or partly blue plumage: subfamily Turdinae (thrushes)
2. fairy bluebird any songbird of the genus Irena, of S and SE Asia, having a blue-and-black plumage: family Irenidae
3. any of various other birds having a blue plumage
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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Primarily insectivorous, bluebirds are very beneficial and provide a natural means of insect control for the orchard and garden.
Even in places shared by two or more species, there's no problem telling bluebirds apart--at least not the distinctly colored males (in general, female bluebirds are paler and more subtly colored than males).
Pamela Kirby who wrote the text and took the photos of this bluebird family got her inspiration from Laurance Sawyer naturalist artist and the Bluebird Man of Georgia.