Eastern Bluebird – State Bird of New York and Missouri
To many in the eastern United States, the arrival of the Eastern Bluebird in early to mid-April indicates the long, cold winter will soon subside in favor of spring. The bluebird, who wears the color of the sky on his back and the color of earth on his breast, is a common visitor to suburban yards with open space and scattered trees.
Description: The male bluebird measures about six inches in length. Males have a bright blue head, back, tail, and wings, and a rufous throat and breast. His stomach and underparts are white. Female bluebirds are grayish above and rufous below with hints of blue on the back and wings.
History: Like many cavity nesters, bluebird populations were decimated by the explosive growth of non-native cavity nesters such as the Starling and House Sparrow. Concerned bird watchers took notice, and soon plans were put in place to bring the bluebird back. Agencies, non-profit groups, and even Boy Scouts set up special trails lined with bluebird houses. The bird houses were closely monitored, and infiltrating sparrows and starlings were removed. Gradually, bluebird populations responded, and today, bluebirds are once again gracing the eastern spring in substantial numbers with their bright colors and bubbilng song.
Range/Habitat/Diet: Bluebirds prefer open spaces, prairies, woodland edges, or parks with scattered trees. They nest in tree cavities or bird houses, and will nest in yards with suitable habitat. Eastern Bluebirds range throughout the eastern United States. The closely related Western Bluebird is found west of the Great Plains. Bluebirds eat insects, berries, and occasionally seeds. The Eastern Bluebird is the state bird of Missouri and New York.
Eastern Bluebird Video
Eastern Bluebird Song