Located in the Midwestern region of North America, Missouri is home to numerous bird species.
Research has recorded up to 335 different species of birds within the state. With varying bird flocks in almost every season – it is raining aviation species there.
If you are ever planning on visiting Missouri, we cannot possibly begin to list every bird you will find, but here is a list of some of the most mesmerizing species.
The American Robin is one of the most common birds found in Missouri.
They are pretty similar to the sparrow family and have red breast areas with a black head and beak.
However, one thing differentiating them from sparrows are the white patches around their eyes – keep that in mind when searching for one.
The American Robin can be found almost anywhere. From forest to backyards, they don’t shy away from humans.
However, they are not very fond of bird feeders since their diet consists of worms and insects, and not seeds. You can hear them chirping all over the spring season.
If you are planning to visit around the summers and see a bright yellow bird with black feathers and a white outline around it; you’ve come across the American Goldfinch.
The male American Goldfinch is bright yellow and has black wings lined with white. While the female has similar characteristics, just a duller yellow color overall.
However, if you find yourself in Missouri in the winters, both birds turn into a dull yellow or more olive color.
These American Goldfinches can be easily found in your backyards and if you wish to attract them to your backyard, we suggest you put in a bird feeder.
The Goldfinch also makes a good pet. Since they are friendly and like to have their own space – bigger birds tend to scare them off.
Bird lovers can listen to their sweet musical callings all day.
Scissor Tailed Flycatcher
The breathtaking Scissor Tailed Flycatcher is now a common sight in Missouri, they can be found north of the Missouri River.
You can also find them hanging from random posts, wires, etc. in the Southwest.
If you are particularly looking for this bird, it is widely found in Kansas City or the Osage Plains. It is pearl grey with light pink sides and an extremely long tail which is black and white.
However, the females are smaller in size and do not have extremely long tails. They only stick around until the insect population vanishes, and then they move onto other areas.
In Missouri, you can find them from Mid-April to November.
The Prothonotary Warbler has a bright yellow body, metallic blue-ish wings, white under covers, and jet black eyes. They are hard to miss.
The female has similar color accents just not as bright.
Although, you are unlikely to find the Prothonotary Warbler near your backyards.
It is a swamp bird, you can find it near dead trees or in woodpecker cavities. The Prothonotary builds its nests within woodpecker cavities, or in nest boxes placed accurately.
If you visit the Big Oak Tree State Park, there is a high chance that you will find one there.
One of the most fascinating birds out there has become a permanent resident of the Missouri state.
The Black Vulture can be found in the southern areas of Barry County to the west in the Mississippi River.
You can easily identify a Black Vulture, they are sighted in flocks that broad black wings and grey feet.
Comparatively to Turkey Vultures, their tails are much shorter and their wings are not shaped in a ‘V’.
Moreover, compared to their cousins, the Black Vultures are not the best at flight. They are also a tad bit more aggressive and have no fear of humans.
You can easily find them in garbage dumps in huge flocks.
It is hard to miss a Road Runner on the road, found all over the Southwest of Missouri. The Road Runner is almost the same size as a crow.
They have long legs and a long tail, and a bushy chest that is covered in grey and brown stripes with bright yellow eyes.
While the Road Runner is difficult to pin down, you can find it in Taney, Barry, Newton, and Stone Counties.
Even though it prefers to stay in dry areas, you never know with these birds – they pop up anywhere.
This bird is known for its sprinting. They prefer not to fly and stay in open areas with spaces to dodge and hide in.
These small creatures can be found all over Missouri State. They have short bills and are tiny, with white bellies and black feathers that have stripes and spots of white.
To distinguish between a male or female Downy Woodpecker, look for the red on top of their heads.
The males have red napes and the females have plain black and white-colored heads.
You can easily find these birds in your backyard as well by placing a bird feeder with sunflower seeds, peanuts, or even peanut butter there are high chances of finding a Downy Woodpecker.
Another one of the tinier species, but a common sight in Missouri. House Sparrows originally came from the Middle East but can now be found in abundance in the state.
The males have grey heads with a black beak and some white and chestnut colors on their faces. House Sparrow bodies are mostly brown with black stripes.
On the other hand, female House Sparrow is mostly a dull brown with some black stripes on their backs.
You can distinguish them from the brown that starts from their eyes and follows throughout the body.
These House Sparrows can be found in all urban or suburban areas due to their ability to quickly adapt to humans.
They can be seen eating bread, popcorn, corn, etc. Whether it is your backyard, the amusement park, or any other public space – they are probably there.
As we all know, one of the most common bird species is the American Crow.
You can pretty much find it anywhere, it is all black with a slight sheen to it. You are most likely to find them in woodlands, rivers, fields, farms, neighborhoods, parks, etc.
The American Crow is not likely to show up to any bird feeders. However, if you wish to attract any, you can put out a range of their favorite foods such as peanuts, corns, etc.
Did you know that crows are smart? The American Crow can easily recognize human faces and figure out problems all on their own.
One of the visiting species in Missouri is the Snow Goose – you can find them consume the skies of Northwestern Missouri by the beginning of winters with up to 150,000 birds at a time.
The Snow Goose is primarily white but has black or grey wings/feathers. However, most research has uncovered that their color patterns vary greatly due to interbreeding.
One of the most fascinating things about the Snow Goose is that they are always grinning.
The black patch on their pink beaks makes it look like the bird is always giving out a smile.
Guess who was not supposed to be in Missouri but made their way anyway? The European Starling, these birds are called invasive species.
They have now become a common bird in Missouri and are almost the same size as the American Robin. Their plumage is shiny and black, with short tails, and a longer beak.
European Starling birds that have reached maturity have a purple-green tint almost iridescent throughout the summers.
Whereas in the winters, they lose the sheen and develop white spots.
Similar to the House Sparrow, the European Starling can easily adapt to human intervention.
A slight drawback though – while the Starlings are mesmerizing to watch, they can be destructive as well.
Since they visit in humongous flocks, gobbling up all the food you may have laid out. You may need to adopt some strategies to keep these pesky birds away.
Another one of the most vividly colored birds in Missouri. The Painted Bunting is more towards the rarer side, though.
They can be found in the southwestern side of the state from May to September.
A male Painted Bunting has a purple head, red-belly, and a green-back. While the female is green above and lighter on the belly.
What is special about these birds is that they only build nests on limestone glades which is why they are widely found in Newton County near the Diamond and George Washington Carver National Monument.
If you are specifically looking for the Painted Bunting, you can also find them near the Henning Conservation Area in Taney County.
By now, we can surely conclude that Missouri is the land of birds. Whether you are looking for a small House Sparrow or a large Vulture, you can find pretty much every species here.
If you are a bird enthusiast and want to go on an exploration drive – we suggest you take a trip down Missouri.
Stay tuned to this space for more informational blogs and bird-watching guides.
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