Mountain Bluebird - Sialia currucoides
FWP Conservation Tier
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See Kaufman (1992) for detailed information on identification of bluebirds.
Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations:
(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version)
Map Help and Descriptions
(direct evidence "B")
(indirect evidence "b")
No evidence of Breeding
(regular observations "W")
(at least one obs. "w")
(Records associated with a range of dates are excluded from time charts)
In the Bozeman area, normal migration periods are March 15 to April 25 and September 20 to October 15 (Skaar 1969).
Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
- Details on Creation and Suggested Uses and Limitations
How Associations Were Made
We associated the use and habitat quality (high, medium, or low) of each of the 82 ecological systems mapped in Montana for
vertebrate animal species that regularly breed, overwinter, or migrate through the state by:
- Using personal observations and reviewing literature that summarize the breeding, overwintering, or migratory habitat requirements of each species (Dobkin 1992, Hart et al. 1998, Hutto and Young 1999, Maxell 2000, Foresman 2001, Adams 2003, and Werner et al. 2004);
- Evaluating structural characteristics and distribution of each ecological system relative to the species’ range and habitat requirements;
- Examining the observation records for each species in the state-wide point database associated with each ecological system;
- Calculating the percentage of observations associated with each ecological system relative to the percent of Montana covered by each ecological system to get a measure of “observations versus availability of habitat”.
Species that breed in Montana were only evaluated for breeding habitat use, species that only overwinter in Montana were only evaluated for overwintering habitat use, and species that only migrate through Montana were only evaluated for migratory habitat use.
In general, species were associated as using an ecological system if structural characteristics of used habitat documented in the literature were present in the ecological system or large numbers of point observations were associated with the ecological system.
However, species were not associated with an ecological system if there was no support in the literature for use of structural characteristics in an ecological system, even if
point observations were associated with that system.
High, medium, and low habitat quality was assigned based on the degree to which the structural characteristics of an ecological system matched the preferred structural habitat characteristics for each species in the literature.
The percentage of observations associated with each ecological system relative to the percent of Montana covered by each ecological system was also used to guide assignments of habitat quality.
If you have any questions or comments on species associations with ecological systems, please contact Bryce Maxell at email@example.com
or (406) 444-3655.
Suggested Uses and Limitations
Species associations with ecological systems should be used to generate potential lists of species that may occupy broader landscapes for the purposes of landscape-level planning.
These potential lists of species should not be used in place of documented occurrences of species (this information can be requested at: http://mtnhp.org/requests/default.asp
) or systematic surveys for species and evaluations of habitat at a local site level by trained biologists.
Users of this information should be aware that the land cover data used to generate species associations is based on imagery from the late 1990s and early 2000s and was only intended to be used at broader landscape scales.
Land cover mapping accuracy is particularly problematic when the systems occur as small patches or where the land cover types have been altered over the past decade.
Thus, particular caution should be used when using the associations in assessments of smaller areas (e.g., evaluations of public land survey sections).
Finally, although a species may be associated with a particular ecological system within its known geographic range, portions of that ecological system may occur outside of the species’ known geographic range.
- Adams, R.A. 2003. Bats of the Rocky Mountain West; natural history, ecology, and conservation. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado. 289 p.
- Dobkin, D. S. 1992. Neotropical migrant land birds in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains. USDA Forest Service, Northern Region. Publication No. R1-93-34. Missoula, MT.
- Foresman, K.R. 2001. The wild mammals of Montana. Special Publication No. 12. Lawrence, KS: The American Society of Mammalogists. 278 p.
- Hart, M.M., W.A. Williams, P.C. Thornton, K.P. McLaughlin, C.M. Tobalske, B.A. Maxell, D.P. Hendricks, C.R. Peterson, and R.L. Redmond. 1998. Montana atlas of terrestrial vertebrates. Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, University of Montana, Missoula, MT. 1302 p.
- Hutto, R.L. and J.S. Young. 1999. Habitat relationships of landbirds in the Northern Region, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station RMRS-GTR-32. 72 p.
- Maxell, B.A. 2000. Management of Montana’s amphibians: a review of factors that may present a risk to population viability and accounts on the identification, distribution, taxonomy, habitat use, natural history, and the status and conservation of individual species. Report to U.S. Forest Service Region 1. Missoula, MT: Wildlife Biology Program, University of Montana. 161 p.
- Werner, J.K., B.A. Maxell, P. Hendricks, and D. Flath. 2004. Amphibians and reptiles of Montana. Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Publishing Company. 262 p.
- Commonly Associated with these Ecological Systems
Forest and Woodland Systems
Open Water / Wetland and Riparian Systems
Shrubland, Steppe and Savanna Systems
Sparse and Barren Systems
- Occasionally Associated with these Ecological Systems
Forest and Woodland Systems
Nesting records statewide are from April 5 to June 25 (Davis 1961). Near Fortine, egg dates for the first brood were April 28 to June 30 and for second brood, May 27 to June 23. Dates for nestlings are from May 14 to June 30.
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View WorldCat Record View Online Publication
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- American Ornithologists' Union. 1998. Check-list of North American birds. 7th edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. 829 pp.
- Baldwin, P.H. 1968. Predator-prey relationships of birds and spruce beetles. Proc. North Central Branch-E.S.A. vol. 23(2).
- Dobkin, D. S. 1992. Neotropical migrant landbirds in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains. U.S.D.A. For. Serv. N. Region Publ. R1-93-34. Missoula, Mont.
- Dobkin, D.S. 1994. Conservation and management of neotropical migrant landbirds in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains. Univ. Idaho Press, Moscow, Idaho. 220 pp.
- Ehrlich, P., D. Dobkin, and D. Wheye. 1988. The Birder’s Handbook, A Field Guide to the Natural History of North American Birds. Simon and Schuster Inc. New York. 785 pp.
- Flath, Dennis L., 1987, Nongame Wildlife Research & Inventory. Statewide Wildlife Research. W-120-R-18 (5853) IV, NG-1.0, 1, 2, 3, July 1, 1986 - June 30, 1987
- Hejl, S.J., R.L. Hutto, C.R. Preston, and D.M. Finch. 1995. Effects of silvicultural treatments in the Rocky Mountains. Pages 220-244 in T. E. Martin and D. M. Finch, eds. Ecology and Management of Neotropical Migratory Birds. Oxford Univ. Press, New York.
- Humphris, Michael., 1990, Wildlife Monitoring Report. Spring Creek Coal Company 1990 Mining Annual Report. Appendix I. April 11, 1990.
- Hutto, R. L. and J. S. Young. 1999. Habitat relationships of landbirds in the Northern Region, USDA Forest Service. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-32. Ogden, UT: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, 72 pp.
- Hutto, R.L. 1995a. Composition of bird communities following stand-replacement fires in Northern Rocky Mountain (U.S.A.) conifer forests. Conservation Biology 9: 1041-1058.
- Johnsgard, P. A. 1986. Birds of the Rocky Mountains with particular reference to national parks in the Northern Rocky Mountain region. Colorado Associated University Press, Boulder. xi + 504 pp.
- Johnsgard, P.A. 1979. Birds of the Great Plains: breeding species and their distribution. Univ. Nebraska Press, Lincoln. 539 pp.
- Land & Water Consulting, Inc., Missoula, MT., 2002, Montana Dept. of Transportation Wetland Mitigation Monitoring Report, Year 2002: Cow Coulee, Townsend, Montana. Proj. No. 130091.013. February 2003. In 2002 Wetland Mitigation Monitoring Reports, Vol. I.
- Lenard, S., J. Carlson, J. Ellis, C. Jones, and C. Tilly. 2003. P. D. Skaar's Montana Bird Distribution, 6th Edition. Montana Audubon: Helena, MT, 144 pp.
- McClelland, B. R. 1977. Relationships between hole-nesting birds, forest snags and decay in western larch-Douglas fir forests of the northern Rocky Mountains. Ph.D. Thesis., Univ. of Montana, Missoula. 483 pp.
- Montana Dept. of Fish and Game. 1975. Fish and game planning, upper Yellowstone and Shields River drainages. Montana Dept. of Fish and Game. Fed. Aid. Proj. 234 pp.
- Munts, M.A. 1994. A comparison of bird communities between an untreated control and two timber harvest treatments in western Montana. M.S. Thesis, Univ. Montana, Missoula. 49 pp.
- Power, H.W. 1980. The foraging behavior of mountain bluebirds - with emphasis on sexual differences. Ornithol. Monogr. 28.
- Power, H.W. and M.P. Lombardo. 1996. Mountain bluebird (Sialia currucoides). In A. Poole and F. Gill, (eds.), The Birds of North America, No. 222. Philadelphia: The Academy of Natural Sciences; Washington D.C.: The American Ornithologists Union.
- Power, Harry W. 1966. Biology of the mountain bluebird in Montana. Condor 68: 351-371.
- Power, Harry W., and Michael P. Lombardo. 1996. Mountain Bluebird (Sialia currucoides). Species Account Number 222. The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca, NY: Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology; Retrieved 3/25/2008 from The Birds of North America Online database: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/
- Saab, V.A. and T.D. Rich. 1997. Large-scale conservation assessment for neotropical migratory land birds in the interior Columbia River Basin. T. M. Quigley, ed. USDA F.S., Pacific NW Research Station. Portland, OR. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-399. 56 pp.
- Scott, V.E., J.E. Whelan, and P.L. Svoboda. 1980. Cavity nesting birds and forest management. Pages 311-324 in Management of Western Forests and Grasslands for Nongame birds. U.S. For. Serv. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-86.
- Spring Creek Coal Company., 1992, Wildlife Monitoring Report. Spring Creek Coal Company 1992 Mining Annual Report. Appendix I.
- Stewart, R.E. 1975. Breeding birds of North Dakota. Tri-College Center for Environmental Studies, Fargo, North Dakota. 295 pp.
- TVX Mineral Hill Mine, Amerikanuak, Inc., Gardiner, MT., 2002, Yearly summary of wildlife observation reports. 1990-2002 Letter reports.
- U.S. Forest Service. 1991. Forest and rangeland birds of the United States: Natural history and habitat use. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Agricultural Handbook 688. 625 pages.
- VTN Environmental Sciences, Sheridan, Wyoming for Montana Dept. of State Lands, 1973, Environmental Analysis Decker Coal Company Mine, Decker, Montana.
- Waage, Bruce C., 1991, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Colstrip, Montana: Annual Wildlife Monitoring Report, 1990 Field Season. September 1991.
- Waage, Bruce C., 1993, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Colstrip, Montana: Annual Wildlife Monitoring Report; 1993 Field Season. April 1993.
- Western Energy Co., Colstrip, MT., 1982, Western Energy Company Rosebud Mine, Colstrip, Montana: Annual Wildlife Report, 1982.
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