The Outdoor Journal by Kyle Carroll

Some years March 1st sneaks up on us. Last year winter hung on and it was easy to forget that it was time to clean out and repair your nest boxes. This year the weather was pleasant and the bluebirds were already starting to show up.

Their arrival means spring is not far off. It's always good to hear the first bluebird song of the year. It's like hearing an old familiar friends voice. Always good.

Eastern bluebirds begin arriving at their breeding locations in our state in March and April and migrate back south in October and November. They are cavity nesters, laying eggs in a hollowed-out cavity in a tree created by some other animal, such as a woodpecker. There are usually 2–7 eggs in a clutch, and 2 broods per season.

Bluebirds readily accept nest boxes if the dimensions are proper. Plans are available from Conservation Department offices and on the Internet.

MDCs website says, “On March 30, 1927, the eastern bluebird was officially designated the Missouri state bird by an act of the Missouri Legislature because it was "common in Missouri" and "a symbol of happiness." This was an appropriate selection in every respect. 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.”

The Caldwell County News

101 South Davis
P.O. Box 218
Hamilton, MO 64644
Phone: 816-583-2116

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