The Show Me state sure has a way of showing residents and visitors Missouri birds, all 435 species of them. Then there’s always the caveats that all the birds on the Missouri bird checklist don’t hang around on a consistent basis. Some are what is known as accidental or casual visitors. They had not planned on visiting Missouri, but occasionally they end up there.
Taking all the caveats into account, approximately 330 bird species can consistently be the subject at the end of a pair of birder binoculars throughout the state.
It does not take a pair of binoculars to spot the blue feathers of the Eastern Bluebird, the state bird of Missouri since 1927. Attracting bluebirds to the yard can be as easy as placing a nest box in the yard. Remember, bluebirds need their space so insure the boxes are placed in an open area with about three hundred feet away from each other.
According to the Audubon Society of Missouri,
Missouri’s topography is defined mainly by rolling farmland with remnant prairie to the north and west, and the forested Ozarks and the flat alluvial plain in the south and southeast. These habitats make the state a haven both for woodland species like Cerulean Warbler and for open-country birds like Dickcissel.
Missouri birds also thrive in the city. In addition to the wide open spaces and forests of the state, Missouri is also book-ended by two large urban areas, Kansas City in the west and St. Louis in the east. Each city has avid birders ready to help tourists plan a perfect birding day trip.
Here’s a sample of the year round and migratory birds they see on a regular basis. Please press the birds button for additional bird pictures and bird identification tips.
Blue Gray Gnatcatcher
American Redstart (female)
Of the approximately 350 bird species documented in the Kansas City area, the locals suggest that about 120 get labeled as common. Tourists can see them on a regular basis by hiking any of the myriad birding trails that can easily be accessed from an exit when driving on I70 or Highway 169.
St. Louis Audubon recently celebrated its one hundredth birthday, indicating a long lived love affair between the city and its birds. Being situated next to the Mississippi flyway means that St. Louis residents enjoy the migratory season up close and personal.
The regional St. Louis bird checklist notes over 350 birds documented within a fifty mile radius of the city. Birding opportunities are available throughout the year. Spring means the warblers are in full migratory flight and urban birders have the opportunity to see about three dozen different species.
When visiting the city, don’t miss an opportunity to see the Eurasian Tree Sparrow.
The resident bird most closely associated with St. Louis is the Eurasian Tree Sparrow (locally known as the ETS). A group of these birds were released in south St. Louis in 1870, and managed to establish a breeding population that remains today. As St. Louis grew, the range of this suburb-loving sparrow spread with it. Today, there are still areas of St. Louis where ETS can be found, but many of the best locations are in St. Louis and St. Charles Counties of Missouri, Madison and Calhoon counties in Illinois, and north from the St. Louis area along the Illinois River.