Bluebirds in Indiana

Top 17 Bluebirds in Indiana

Indiana is a state in the Midwestern United States. It is the 38th-largest by area and the 17th-most populous of the 50 States.

More than 413 bird species have been identified in Indiana, and more than 260 birds are observed somewhere in the state each year. Various habitats provide an annual breeding population of about 180 species.

In this article, I will tell you about the top 17 bluebirds in Indiana, which I observed personally when I visited that state.

Moreover, I will provide brief information about these birds, their physical characteristics, geographic distribution, habitat preferences, and unique behavior, which acknowledge their existence in nature.

Top 17 Bluebirds in Indiana

Did you know bluebirds are one of the rarest and most unique birds to spot worldwide? Although they are very rare in some places, in Indiana state, these birds are widely spotted and common to observe.

This is because Indiana has constantly provided safe and secure breeding and nesting sites for these avian species.

In this section, I will discuss the top 17 bluebirds in Indiana, including their physical characteristics, such as size, wingspan, lifespans, scientific names, food, and other facts about these birds.

1. Barn Swallow 

Barn Swallow 
  • Scientific name: Hirundo rustica 
  • Lifespan: around four years
  • Wingspan: 32 – 34.5 cm
  • Native to:  Europe, Asia, Africa, America 
  • Size: 2- 7 cm
  • Food or Diet: insects, flies, grasshoppers, dragonflies, beetles, wasps,  wild bees, ants, etc.

Barn swallow birds are widely spotted bluebirds in Indiana. These species are the subspecies of the swallow family, which are also local in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. Generally, in European countries, they call it swallow.

If I talk about their physical appearances, their upper body is deep blue plumage, their breasts and belly parts (lower abdomen) are white, their faces are red, and their beaks are black.

Female swallow birds also look similar except for their tails, which are comparatively shorter than male birds. These swallow species are fond of low vegetation, open country, and farmlands with nearby water.

Generally, this blue bird’s breeding season starts in February or March and ends mid-September. Male birds tend to reach their breeding spot and find their nesting spot before female birds come there.

Later, when female swallows arrive, they perform circling flight and sing to attract the females. Male and female both defend their nests and their territory.

I have observed males become more aggressive towards their territory during those days. Female birds lay 2 to 7 eggs and incubate around 14 to 19 days. 

2. Black-Throated Blue Warbler

Black Throated Blue Warbler
  • Scientific name:  Setophaga caerulescens 
  • Lifespan: around nine years
  • Native to: North America
  • Wingspan: 19 to 20 cm
  • Size: 13 cm
  • Food or Diet: invertebrates, insects, caterpillars, crane flies, spiders

The black-throated blue warbler is also a small-sized Passerine bird in Indiana. The tiny blue birds are related to the New World warbler family.

About their appearances, their upper bodies are deep, shiny blue with a black face and white abdomen parts. Apart from Indiana City, these birds are widespread in North America, including the Caribbean and Central America.

These birds tend to inhabit deciduous forests, parks, and gardens, so if you visit those places, you may see them. 

These Indiana bluebirds build their nests generally in semi-open places that are not very high; rather, they build their nests very close to the ground surface.

Their breeding season starts around May and ends in July. I have seen male Indiana blue birds have fantastic singing skills and sing songs to attract mates during their breeding seasons.

These species are largely increasing day by day around the world, and the IUCN declared them the least concerned species in 2012.

3. Blue Grosbe

Blue Grosbeak 
  • Scientific name: Passerina caerulea
  • Lifespan: 7 years 
  • Wingspan: 26 to 29 cm
  • Native to: North America 
  • Size: 14 to 19 cm
  • Food or Diet: insects, snails, seeds, grains, and wild fruits

Blue grosbeaks are another common bluebird in Indiana city. These birds are medium-sized blue birds related to passerine birds in the Cardinal family.

Although I have seen them in Indiana, they are still local to Central America, Northern Mexico and the Southern United States. The male grosbe speaks birds that are deep blue with two brown wing bars.

Female grosbeaks are mostly brown plumage over their body. If you want to see this bird’s habitat, you may visit scattered trees, riparian woodlands, scrub, thickets, cultivated lands, and overgrown fields.

Usually, these Indiana bluebirds build their nests in low tree or bush areas. Their nests are approximately 1-2.5 meters above the ground.

4. Blue Jay 

Blue Jay
  • S ientific name:  Cyanocitta cristata 
  • Lifespan:  average seven years 
  • Wingspan : 13 to 17 inches 
  • Native to: North America 
  • Size: 22 to 30 cm
  • Food or Diet: corns, grains, seeds, nuts, fruits, and insects

Blue Jay birds are other bluebirds that are highly seen in Indiana city. These birds are related to the Corvidae family of passerine bird species.

You can easily identify these birds by their blue feathered body with a black pattern on the wings and tails. They have black chains around their neck and white faces with white breasts.

Apart from Indiana state, their territory covers North America, including southern Canada, the United States, Florida, and Texas. They are found in arid pine forests and scrub areas for their habitats.

So,if you travel to those places you might have a high chance to see these blue birds personally. However, no e that these species are mostly noisy and aggressive birds  protecting their nests and territories.

So, you need to be careful not to break their territories or boundaries which will annoy them. If they see any predators or intruders they will start screaming to divide their attention from them and sometimes may attack the intruders.

Their mating season starts around mid March and April. Usually, th y build their nests around 10 to 33 feet above the ground. They are al o very picky while placing their nesting sites; mostly prefer rural or heavily deforested areas.

5. Cerulean Warbler 

Cerulean Warbler 
  • Scientific name: Setophaga cerulea 
  • Lifespan: about 6 years 
  • Wingspan: around 20 cm
  • Native to: Eastern North America 
  • Size: around 11 cm
  • Food or Diet: insects,  fruits and flowers 

Cerulean warblers are small songbirds in Indiana city. They are also in the Parulidae family category. If you observe thoroughly, you can see their whole body is covered in sheen sky blue plumage on the back  and white in the chests and belly.

Although they are common in Indiana state, they are mostly spotted in Eastern North America. Besides, these species prefer hardwood forests, and deciduous forests for their habitats.

So, if you want to closely check those birds you can find them as per their habitats. They build their nests often in the high places about 98 feet above from the ground. 

I have seen, during the breeding season, male birds sing a whisper song in which females respond to their singing with a call.

But sometimes female birds attack other females to destroy their nests and eggs as well. Gradually, ale and female birds both build their nests together and choose their nesting sites also.

As they are migratory birds, they travel long distances during their migration period by covering the Midwest and Northwest states in the spring and summer.

6. Common Grac le

Common Grackle
  • Scientific name:  Quiscalus quiscula 
  • Lifespan: around 17 years
  • Wingspan: 36 to 46 cm
  • Native to: North America 
  • Size: 28 to 34 cm
  • Food or Diet: insects, beetles, grubs, caterpillars, grasshoppers,  spiders, crayfish etc.

Common grackles are another familiar bluebird in Indiana that people can observe. These birds are also widely ranging in North America.

These Indiana blue birds’ heads and necks are deep blue, and their wings are dark brownish with black beaks and pale yellowish white eye-rings.

These birds prefer open areas, semi open areas, dense trees, shrubs,  and watery places for their nesting and habitats. Besides, th y build or construct their nests in tree cavities or in man-made structures.

So if you are interested in capturing or observing them you can attract these blue birds by building artificial structured nests for them. You can als spot them migrating to the Southwestern United States in large flocks.

Although they can sing, their voices are harsh compared to other melodious singing birds. I have foun that they also have interesting breeding rituals where male birds tip their heads and fluff their feathers to attract their mates.

In this case, male Indiana bluebirds chase away other male birds or become aggressive towards other male birds as well. 

7. Eastern Bl rd 

Eastern Bluebird 
  • Scientific name: Sialia sialis 
  • Lifespan: 6 to 10 years
  • Wingspan: 9.8 to 12.6 cm
  • Native to: North America 
  • Size: 16 to 21 cm
  • Food or Diet: insects, invertebrates, fruits, berries, beetles, earthworms etc.

Eastern bluebirds are also very common  bluebirds in Indiana state. Although th are seen in Indiana city, they are mostly local birds in North America including Canada, Gulf states and Arizona.

These Indiana bluebirds’ upper bodies are bright blue with orange breasts and their bellies are slightly white. You may see beautiful species in open areas, frequently burned pine savannas and open woods areas.

Eastern bluebirds of Indiana state, are very social birds and  prefer to stay in large flocks of hundreds of birds. They also p ect their territories throughout their breeding season. After breed seasons, both male and female bluebirds raise their young and divide their responsibilities equally between them.

Female Indiana bluebirds build the nests within 10 days and incubate the eggs for about 13 to 16 days. Generally, young leave their nests within 15 to 20 days after hatching.

8. Indigo Bunt  

Indigo Bunting 
  • Scientific name: Passerina cyanea 
  • Lifespan: around 2 to 3 years 
  • Wingspan: 18 to 23 cm
  • Native to: Canada, Florida, South America 
  • Size: 11 to 15 cm
  • Food or Diet: insects, berries, caterpillars,  spiders, grasshoppers etc 

In Indiana state, Indigo Buntings are another small blue and brown bird plumage. Apart from Indiana State, I have spotted these beautiful birds in Southern Canada, Florida, South America, and Mexico.

During their breeding season, these bunting birds are mostly partial to Southern Canada, Florida, Texas, and Nevada.

However, in the winter season, they migrate to Southern Florida, central Mexico, the West Indies, and Central America to South America.

Besides, Indigo birds tend to inhabit open forests, woodlands, and farmlands. These bluebs only prefer to migrate at night with the help of the stars.

These birds navigate their location by evaluating the stars position in the sky. I have seen ese Indigo birds communicating through their vocalization.

They use high pitched sounds or buzzing sounds to mark their territory and also attract their mates during breeding seasons. 

9. Northern Parula

Northern Parula
  • Scientific name: Setophaga americana 
  • Lifespan: around 5 years
  • Wingspan: around 16 to 18 cm
  • Native to: North America, Canada, and Florida  
  • Size: around 10.8 to 12.4 cm
  • Food or Diet: spiders, insects, caterpillars, grasshoppers, ants, wasps, bees, flies, beetles etc.

Northern parulas are another blue bird species that are visible in Indiana state. They also h a connection with the new world warbler family.

If I talk about their physical appearances, Their heads are ashy blue, chests are yellow, and wings and backs are blue with gray bellies.

As they are migratory birds, they travel to Florida, northern Central America, and West Indies in the winter seasons. They tend t refer lowlands, dwelling forests, moist, dry or wet forests including agricultural plantations for their habitats in eastern North America.

So if you tend to see these birds you can find them in those places. Besides, the Indiana bluebirds build their nests about 7 cm wide, and the females incubate for 10 to 11 days there. After hatch birds leave the nests around 10 to 11 days later. 

10. Purple Mart

Purple Martin
  • Scientific name: Progne subis 
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years; max 13 years
  • Wingspan: 39 to 41 cm
  • Native to: North America 
  • Size: 20 cm  
  • Food or Diet: insects, mosquitoes, ants etc.

Purple Martins are also common birds in Indiana state for bird watchers to identify. These blueb s are small glossy steel blue sheen birds that amazed me at first glance.

Along with Indiana state, these birds are local to North America, British Columbia, and Mexico. Later, you spot them in Bolivia,  Peru and Brazil in the winter season as well.

These birds are more likely to choose open areas and wooded places for their habitats. They often use artificial nests or man-made nests during their nesting season.

Again, you can attract them by offering them a secure artificial home. Sometimes t also used old cavities that were made by woodpeckers.

During their breeding season, male birds arrive before the female birds and make the territories. Later, fema birds lay one egg at a time and incubate for fifteen to sixteen days.

This species can survive up to 1 or 2 years. However, on individual bird can survive around 13 years. They having flight agility skills and a rapid flapping pattern where they can dive from the sky with a high speed. 

11. Red-Breaste nuthatch

Red-Breasted Nuthatch
  • Scientific name: Sitta Canadensis 
  • Lifespan: around 6 years
  • Wingspan: 8.5 inches /  22 cm
  • Native to: Canada, Alaska, Northeastern and western United States 
  • Size: 11 cm
  • Food or Diet: insects, flies, seeds, berries, peanut butter, etc.

Red-breasted nuthatches are also small songbirds with high-pitched nasal birds in Indiana state. These birds are also very common in Alaska, Canada, and the Western United States.

These bluebirds of Indiana choose conifer forests in northern areas where they permanently reside for the whole year. So, you can easily locate their habitats to find them.

For their appearances, their upper parts and tails are bluish with red breasts. Moreover, the birds have black caps with white lines around their eyes.

You will be amazed that these birds exhibit bizarre courtship behavior. During the breeding seasons, the male tries to attract female birds by bizarre display performances such as lifting heads and tails, turning their backs to female birds, gliding, and swaying from side to side.

They are half-migratory birds as they stay within their region almost all year, and few birds migrate to the South in winter.

Mostly female bluebirds lay 2 to 8 eggs, usually 5 to 6 white eggs, and incubate for 12 to 13 days. Young leave their nests after 2 to 3 weeks.

12. Rock Pigeon

Rock Pigeon 
  • ientific name: Columba livia
  • Lifespan: 3 to 5 years
  • Wingspan: 24 to 28 cm
  • Native to: Europe, North America, southeastern Asia 
  • Size: 29 to 37 cm
  • Food or Diet: plants, fruits, and grains

Rock Pigeons are also known as rock doves or common pigeons. These rock Ions are highly common in Indiana, including Europe, Asia, and North Africa.

If I talk about their physical description, these birds have grayish-blue plumage over their body with shiny green and pink necks. During the feeding season, they travel to Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia to breed and to have secure nesting sites.

These rock doves in Indiana are not migratory or travel birds. They remain in their local or native places for years. These pigeords of Indiana breed any time throughout the year; however, their peak times are summer and spring seasons.

Here, they prefer nesting sites with coastal cliff areas, artificial cliff areas like buildings, roofs etc. In the nest s lutch, female pigeons lay two white eggs and incubate for 17 to 19 days. One interes i fact about them, they can produce “crop milk” or pigeon milk which helps them to breed any season throughout the year.

13. White Breas e Nuthatch

White Breasted Nuthatch
  • Scientific name: Sitta carolinensis 
  • Lifespan: around 2 years
  • Wingspan : 20 to 27 cm
  • Native to: North America 
  • Size: about 15.5 cm
  • Food or Diet: insects, nuts, seeds, sunflower seeds etc

White-breasted nuthatches are another small to medium-sized bluebird in Indiana city. These mutha c s birds are also widely distributed across North America, including Florida, Mexico, Canada, including Indiana state.

If you look closely, you will find that these white-breasted nuthatch birds have large heads, short wings, very strong beaks, and strong legs.

Their wings are pale gray plumage and have white wing bars on it. Besides, th i upper body parts are fully white with a little reddish brown feathers in the lower abdomen parts.

These birds are highly recommended in woodlands, open areas, and savanna lands for their nesting and habitats. They are biologically nonmigratory birds; they prefer not to travel long distances during their breeding or migration seasons.

These birds are more likely to stay in one region and like to defend their territory from their birds and intruders.

They also stay in large flocks which helps them to avoid direct eye contact with predators. These bluebr usually make their nests around 3 to 12 meters high in a tree where the female birds lay 5 to 9 ceramic whitish eggs in the clutch.

14. Tree Swall  

Tree Swallow
  • ientific name: Tachycineta 3
  • Lifespan: about 2.7 years
  • Wingspan: 30 to 35 cm
  • Native to: America 
  • Size: 12 to 14 cm
  • Food or Diet: insects, mollusks, spiders, fruits, flies, etc.

Tree swallow birds are also spotted in Indiana. Apart from eating, they are also very familiar in most of America, including North America, New Mexico, California, Central Alaska, and Canada.

However, their specific breeding region covers North America, and in the winter, they migrate to Canada and Alaska.

So, if you visit North America during their breeding seasons, you might see these birds inhabiting open, wooded areas, especially near water.

These bluebirds build their nests in pre-made holes or cavities in a tree, or in artificial structured nests. Besides, the se r e swallow birds can also fly around 160 feet above the ground and have the ability to glide and flap in the sky, which makes their flight effortless.

Although their average life span is about 2.7 years, one bird can survive up to 12 years.

15. Blue-gray G atc t her 

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 
  • Scientific name: Polioptila caerulea 
  • Lifespan: around 4 years
  • Wingspan: 16 cm
  • Native to: North America 
  • Size: 10 to 13 cm
  • Food or Diet: insects, eggs, spiders etc

Blue gray gnatcatchers are also visible in Indiana state including the North America region.If I talk about their appearances, their upper bodies are grayish sky blue, and the lower parts are grayish-white with white eye rings around the eye areas. 

These Indiana bluebirds tend to inhabit wooded areas, shrublands, and deciduous forests, including Eastern and Southwestern United States and Mexico.

Later, they traveled or migrated to the Southern United States, Mexico, northern Central America, Cuba, and the Bahamas. During the breing seasons, they also make sounds and noises to attract their mates.

These bluebirds also lift their tails when they search for food or when they aggressively defend their territories. They build one-leaf nests, which females incubate for 10 to 15 days.

Here, both male and female birds share their parental duties and feed their young. 

16. Belted King ish r

Belted Kingfisher
  • Scientific name: Megaceryle alcyon 
  • Lifespan:  around 14 years
  • Wingspan: 48 to 58 cm
  • Native to: North America 
  • Size: 28 to 35 cm
  • Food or Diet: small fish, including mammals, young birds, lizards

Belted Kingfisher is a medium to large watery Kingfisher native to North America. Besides North America, these birds are also local to Canada, Alaska, Central America, the West Indies, Indiana, and Mexico.

During their migration, these birds travel to Cocos Island, Hawaii, the Pacific Islands, and the United Kingdom. Talking abo t t e r appearances, these species have crests on its head, white collar, grayish blue back, and wings along with white lower parts.

Their permanent residence is mostly in the warmer places of the country, and they leave the northern parts when the water starts to freeze.

These belted kingfishers mostly perch from trees, posts, or any other suitable watching point before hunting their prey. Their nests are usually a long tunnel or often slope uphill. 

17. Little Blue Her n

Little Blue Heron
  • Scientific name: Egretta caerulea
  • Lifespan:  13 years 11 months (Around 14 years)
  • Wingspan:  39 to 41 cm
  • Native to: America, United States,  South America 
  • Size: 22 to 29 inches 
  • Food or Diet: fish, insects, shrimps, amphibians etc.

Little blue herons are other bluebirds that are widely seen in Indiana states, including America, the United States, South America, Canada, Central America, Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, and Venezuela regions.

You can easily spot these beautiful bluebirds by their appearances. These birds hav shy blue bodies with purple maroon heads and long beaks. Their feets and l gs are black.

They apply unique hunting skills to hunt. They choose to stand still and wait for the prey to hunt them. They usually chase the prey and catch it.

They gradually walk for the fish or prey and move slower to their target then grab the prey with their bills. You can also find them nesting in colonies as they are colonial nesters. Both male and female herons incubate the eggs in the clutch.


In conclusion, these 17 bluebirds in Indiana state are showing the diversity of coloration in avian species.

Although these birds are very rare in some regions, in Indiana, they are highly spotted because of the state’s secure breeding spots, nesting sites, and rich food sources.

Each and every one makes a strong ecological environment for bluebirds to breed every year and increase their population successfully.

I hope that through this article, you find relativity in connecting us as bird watchers of avian species. If you want to know more about these bluebirds’ lifestyle and their habitats, you can also read about other bluebirds in Illinois and Michigan. 

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