Mountain Bluebird at Ridge Road Winery, Stoney Creek, Hamilton

First year female Mountain Bluebird in formative (first basic) plumage on 20 March 2011. Mountain Bluebirds breed in their first year in this plumage. This bird will be submitted to OBRC.


Thanks to Cheryl Edgecombe, Barb Charlton, Rob Dobos and Dave Don for finding this bird on 19 March 2011 while wine tasting at the winery. A special thank you to Jane and Sean Douglas at the winery for allowing birders on the property to view this western rarity, a second record for the Hamilton Study Area (Curry 2006. Birds of Hamilton). Mourad Jabra refound it on 20 March.

Scroll down for four photos.

Aged as first year by the worn brown retained outer juvenal greater coverts and alula contrasting with the fresher bluish-gray replaced inner greater coverts. An adult female has uniformly bluish-gray greater coverts lacking any molt contrast and a blue alula with brownish wash (Pyle 1997). Mountain Bluebirds do not have an alternate plumage.


Mountain Bluebird on 20 March 2011


This photo shows the metallic blue rump.


Habitat at the winery where the Mountain Bluebird was discovered on 19 March 2011 and where I saw it on 20 March.