If we tried to design a bird to be popular with humans, it would be hard to invent anything more appealing than the Eastern Bluebird. It has beautiful colors, a soft, musical voice, and seemingly gentle behavior. It readily takes to birdhouses provided for it along the edges of yards and farms. What’s not to like? Its only serious competition might come from its two closest relatives. The three species of bluebirds that make up the genus Sialia form a very distinctive group, unique to North America.
The Eastern Bluebird is the most widespread of the three, with an odd and partly disjunct distribution. It’s a widespread breeder east of the Rockies in the U.S. and southern Canada, becoming scarce in southern Florida and southernmost Texas. But then it’s also resident in southeastern Arizona — the northern tip of a population that extends southward, mostly in the highlands, through Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and northern Nicaragua. A permanent resident in many areas, it withdraws in winter from the northernmost stretches of its range.