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On March 30, 1927, the native bluebird, (Sialia sialis,) became the official state bird of Missouri. The bluebird, considered a symbol of happiness, is usually 6 1/2 to 7 inches long. While its upper parts are covered with light blue plumage, its breast is cinnamon red, turning rust-colored in the fall. The bluebird is common in Missouri from early spring until late November. (RSMo 10.010)
The Eastern bluebird, (Sialia sialis,) is a small bird found in open woodlands, farmlands and orchards. Eastern bluebirds are found east of the Rockies, southern Canada to the Gulf States and southeastern Arizona to Nicaragua.
The bright blue breeding plumage of the male, easily observed on a wire or open perch, fluttering down to the mowed grass to capture a grasshopper, cricket or beetle makes this species a favorite of birders. The male's call includes sometimes soft warbles of jeew or chir-wi or the melodious song chiti WEEW wewidoo.
Eastern bluebirds are small birds with short, slender beaks and short legs. They are brightly colored, with a blue upper body, red breast, and white abdomen. Males have wing and tail feathers that are blue with black or gray shafts and tips. Their heads are a lighter shade of blue, which fades into a red throat and breast area. The breast and belly are white with light blue tips on some of the longer feathers. Females also exhibit this pattern of coloration, although they tend to be duller than males and have more gray. Adult weight ranges from 27 to 34 grams. They are, on average 6 inches long from the tip of their beak to the end of their tail.
The law designating the native "bluebird" as the official Missouri state bird is Section 10.010 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, Title 2 (SOVEREIGNTY, JURISDICTION AND EMBLEMS) Chapter 10 (State Emblems) Section 10.010.
TITLE II SOVEREIGNTY, JURISDICTION AND EMBLEMS
Chapter 10 State Emblems
Official state bird.
10.010. The native "bluebird" (Sialia Sialis) is selected for and shall be known as the official bird of the state of Missouri.
(RSMo 1939 § 15439, RSMo 1949 § 10.070, A.L. 1957 p. 726)
Prior revision: 1929 § 14314
Taxonomic Hierarchy: Eastern Bluebird
Kingdom: Animalia - animals
Phylum: Chordata - chordates
Subphylum: Vertebrata - vertebrates
Class: Aves - birds
Order: Passeriformes - perching birds
Family: Muscicapidae - old world flycatchers
Genus: Sialia Swainson, 1827 - bluebirds
Species: Sialia sialis ---- eastern bluebird