The Eastern Bluebird Becomes the State Bird: March 30, 1927

The eastern bluebird became our state bird on this date in 1927 after the legislature passed a bill officially selecting it. This red, white, and blue species is different from the all-blue western bluebird.

Here’s what the Missouri Department of Conservation says about our state bird:

“The eastern bluebird was officially designated the Missouri state bird by the Missouri Legislature in 1927 because it was ‘common in Missouri’ and ‘a symbol of happiness.’ Referring to its pleasing color, naturalist Henry David Thoreau once wrote that ‘it carries the sky on its back.’ Add to that its delightful song, non-aggressive manner and beneficial food habits, and you have a truly appealing bird. And, people can even become involved with this state bird by building birdhouses.

Most important for a state symbol, bluebirds are fitting for Missouri. They seem to favor the rolling Missouri countryside where they may be seen flitting about from fencepost to fencepost on any bright spring morning. For those who witness the flash of blue and hear their ‘cheer-cheeryup’ song in such a setting, the phrase ‘bluebird of happiness’ takes on a special meaning.”

Eastern bluebirds typically remain in the state from spring until late fall. They breed in the springtime before leaving for warmer climates later in the year, but in pockets of southern Missouri you can find our state bird in residence all year round.