The blue Cardinal.

A guy emails that he saw a blue Cardinal. What gives?

A Steller’s Jay comes to mind. But those birds live three thousand miles west of the guy’s town in Maine. Can’t be.

Still, birds don’t always play by the rules.

What if a Steller’s Jay took a nap in the back of an 18-wheeler at a Utah rest stop? The trucker drives off and four days later the bird flies out in Maine.

Or… Maybe a guy in Maine is spray painting his garage blue. A Cardinal flies through the spray. Unthinkable?

Ed Abbey said, “The unthinkable is always thinkable.”

Okay. Two theories so far. Maybe the bird’s a hitchhiking Steller’s Jay. Or it’s a red Cardinal that got painted by a spray gun.

You have a better idea?

FOOTNOTE (May, 2015): The above post was written in June of 2012, and seemed interesting at the time. How could a Steller’s Jay be so far out of its range?

Since then, we occasionally hear from readers who honestly report “blue Cardinals.” Comments from these people are shown below. We received one just this week.

We have no idea what’s going on. Are these all Steller’s Jays? Are they really blue Cardinals?

This is a question for experts. If an expert should happen to stumble across this site, and see all the comments below, we hope that person will shed a little light on the subject.

Meanwhile, thanks for your observations.

58 Responses to “The blue Cardinal.”

  1. Joey says:

    I live in North Louisiana and saw my first on July 3, 2015. It was the exact shape of our typical red cardinal but this bird was bright blue always down to his beak.

  2. Hadley says:

    I live in Llano TX and last week I closely saw a blue bird with blue beek shaped like a cardinal but smaller 10ft from me at eye level. I recently started taking interest in the birds around here and knew that it was my first spotting and decided to look it up online. I went to two thorough sites one of Texas specifically and one global and could not find match. I found this site and feel better about my sanity. If I see it again I’ll try to get picture to share

  3. Hadley says:

    Ps It looked different than the one in your picture and had brown wings

  4. June says:

    I saw a blue Cardinal last week in Whistler BC Canada. Thought I was losing it or that they were local to the area. Definitely was not a “blue jay” as I am very familiar with these

  5. Philip says:

    I was out early about 7am with my binoculars looking for the white does and their fawns and what looked like a blue cardinal lit not tofar from where I was standing. I got a good look at it and after research I have come to the conclusion that it was a ultramarine Grosbeak that had migrated up from South America. I have only seen it once but it had a smaller point of feathers, on top of it’s head, than the Cardinal or Jay. Like a Bluebird, when it opened it’s wings and the morning sun hit the bird it lite up like neon!

  6. Philip says:

    I apologies I left out some pertinent information. I live North of Atlanta in Loganville and it was White tail deer I was out looking for with the binoculars. I have tons of birds on the ranch but I had never seen anything like this one.

  7. Dhimat says:

    I saw a blue Cardinal today at Libertyville, IL. It doesn’t resemble with the picture above. It’s looks like any other Cardinal but sky blue hook and tail. The rest of the body is light grey

  8. sherry mitchel says:

    I have a blue cardinal at my bird feeder today. Central Oregon. I have seen more then a few since moving here 20 years ago

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