For my Draw A Bird Day entry (hosted by my lovely friend Laura at Create Art Everyday), I’m continuing with my hometown tour by introducing you to the Missouri state bird. Meet the Eastern bluebird, which was designated as the state bird in 1927 (it’s also the state bird of New York but not until 1970… we’re such trendsetters here).
The Eastern bluebird is a medium sized songbird with a short tail, rounded head, short black bill, a reddish-orange chest, and brilliant blue wings and tail (Cobalt Blue and Cadmium Orange with a hit of Burnt Sienna in the case of my little doodlewash). This is only my second time drawing a bird, the first time was a rooster, but I really enjoyed drawing one so I’m hoping to try more!
As is often the case in birdland the male gets the fancier colors, and I love that in order to attract the female, this little guy performs a “Nest Demonstration Display.” He basically just brings nest material to the hole, goes in and out, and perches above it waving his wings around. This is his only contribution to nest building, much like many human males when moving into a new home.
Populations of these birds declined in the 70’s, when I was a kid, so it was very rare to actually see one. Thankfully they’ve been coming back over the years and their numbers are increasing (thanks in large part to the popularity of nest box campaigns). I’ve always loved these birds and you can spot them from a distance when the sun shines through their blue wings in flight. I hope you like him too!