Missouri: State Bird

(Eastern bluebird, Sialia sialis)

What Is the State Bird of Missouri?

Missouri is located right in the middle of the country and is home to a wide variety of birds and different types of wildlife. It adopted the Eastern Bluebird as the official bird of the state in 1927. The Eastern Bluebird has had some population struggles recently, as the population has been on the decline for the past 50 or 60 years. The Eastern Bluebird can be found making its nest in nesting boxes across Missouri, and it has a reputation for singing a beautiful song to the residents of the state throughout the year.

Why Did Missouri Pick the Eastern Bluebird as the Official State Bird?

Missouri selected the Eastern Bluebird as the state bird because of how common it is across the state. It also sings a cheerful song that evokes feelings of happiness in the people who hear it. One of the most famous naturalists of all time, Henry David Thorough, wrote that the Eastern Bluebird looks like it has the sky on its back. The Eastern Bluebird can be spotted across the state, and it lives in a variety of habitats.

When Did Missouri Select the Eastern Bluebird as the Bird of the State?

The state of Missouri passed official legislation naming the Eastern Bluebird as the state bird in 1927. Of note, the state of New York also has the Eastern Bluebird as its state bird. There are a few other states that have adopted the Mountain Bluebird as the state bird, but this is a different species from the Eastern Bluebird.

What Does the Eastern Bluebird Look Like?

The Eastern Bluebird typically grows to about six inches long. It has a light blue color as the dominant feature, as the feathers spread from head to tail. There is a cinnamon red breast plumage that comes in during the spring and summer. Then, when the cooler temperature arrives, the hue starts to fade. The female Eastern Bluebird has slightly duller colors across her body, but she also has yellow feathers on the side that make her easy to spot. The feet and bills of both the male and female Eastern Bluebirds are black.

The Eastern Bluebird has a wingspan of about ten inches. The Eastern Bluebird weighs about one ounce.

How Does the Eastern Bluebird Behave?

The Eastern Bluebird is a migratory bird. It tends to live in Missouri from the end of the spring until about Thanksgiving. Then, the bird flies south, looking for warmer weather during the winter. The Eastern Bluebird tends to make its home right in the backyards of the state's residents. It can be found in large fields and meadows as well. It likes to pitch on power lines and fenceposts to sing its song, as this is how the males attract a mate. The Eastern Bluebird is an aggressive mate, and it will attack other males that get too close. The mating season begins in March, and it lasts through the spring.