Every experienced birder started as a hobby backyard birder sometime and remained involved in backyard birding almost throughout their whole life to gain the knowledge they have today. If you live in Missouri, you’re lucky as this state offers many opportunities for attracting, identifying, and watching the beautiful backyard birds of Missouri.
State Bird of Missouri
On March 30, 1927, the Eastern Bluebird was designated as the official state bird of Missouri. The reason behind the Eastern Bluebird being the state bird of Missouri was that it’s seen as “a symbol of happiness” and was “very common in the state.”
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Backyard Birds of Missouri
● More than 437 backyard birds of Missouri have been included in the official list.
● 52 bird species of the above-mentioned have been classified as accidental, 4 have extinct, 7 species have been introduced to the North American continent, and 3 species of bird have been extirpated.
Attracting Birds to Your Missouri Backyard
● Select native plants such as purple coneflower and buttonbush that grow seeds, berries, and fruits.
● Try growing plants of varying heights to attract different backyard birds.
● Create different light conditions ranging from full sun to full shade.
● Try incorporating a water feature in your Missouri backyard.
Fun Bird Watching Activities for Your Backyard
Bird-watching expands your consciousness and tells us how to “be in the moment”. It also keeps your mind healthy and active by connecting you with nature.
Competitions like the great backyard bird count play a major role in contributing to science. It is an exceptional, yet simple way of documenting all bird species one notices in one’s backyard. It is a 4-day long event, which is sponsored by the National Audobon Society and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Identifying Backyard Birds
4 easy ways to identify backyard birds:
- Use a birdsong/voice.
- The behavior and the shape of the tail can act as another identifier.
- The size and shape of the bill also tell us much about the bird.
- If you pay close attention to a bird’s flight, it can drop another big hint.
Hairy Woodpeckers are black and white with two white stripes on their head. They are found all throughout North America. They have declined in their population, but are still fairly common. These woodpeckers make their habitat in forests, shade trees, and river groves. Hairy Woodpeckers eat insects but can be found eating sunflower seeds in backyard feeders. Hairy Woodpeckers are permanent residents, but those that live in the north move south for the winter.
The Carolina Wren has a light brown body and an upward tail. They are shy birds. Though hard to see, the Carolina Wren sings many different songs and is loud! The Carolina Wren likes quiet areas. They can often be seen near piles of brush or a faraway corner of a yard. The Carolina Wren does not like the cold.
The American Robin can be found in yards and gardens across North America. They enjoy eating earthworms right out of the ground in the morning and fruit in the afternoon. American Robins have a round, orange chest. Their feathers are grey-brown in color. You can hear the Robin if you listen for their clear whistle. Female Robins often sleep in the nest while the male Robin goes out to gather.
The Carolina Chickadee is found in the Southeastern United States. Carolina Chickadees are black and white, with gray wings. They love sunflowers and peanut chips. They like to grab their food and then go somewhere else to eat, so they can be alone. The Carolina Chickadee likes to hang out with other birds, such as the Warbler.
The Northern Cardinal is one of the most popular birds because of its vibrant red color. The Cardinal is
also known for its sweet song, which can be heard early in the morning. They can be found mainly in the Eastern half of the United States. Northern Cardinals like to visit bird feeders and eat sunflower seeds. The Cardinal is the state bird of seven states!
The Northern Flicker is a large Woodpecker with a brown body. They eat mainly ants and beetles. Northern Flickers walk around the edge of wooded areas. The Northern Flicker nests in small holes in trees much like other Woodpeckers. These birds can be found throughout North America.
The White-breasted Nuthatch is white but also has black and gray markings. These Nuthatches are active and enjoy eating insects and large seeds. The White-breasted Nuthatch is a small bird with a loud voice. The White-breasted Nuthatch can be found throughout North American, near deciduous trees.
Bird Feeders that Attract Backyard Birds
Sunflower seeds attract the widest variety of backyard birds.
Tip: Place your bird feeder at the location where it is easy for backyard birds to spot it.