Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ask the Idaho Bird Blogger: Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird, photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

From Nick S., Eagle, ID at our campout mentioned in the previous post:

"Why is the Mountain Bluebird the State Bird of Idaho?  I thought it was the Peregrine Falcon."


Great question Nick!  The Mountain Bluebird was designated as the State Bird of Idaho on February 28th, 1931.  Why it was chosen?  I am certain it had a lot to do with how strikingly beautiful the Mountain Bluebird is, but who proposed and campaigned for it to be the State Bird?...I don't yet know.  Perhaps I need to read some old newspapers from that year and find out the story behind it.  Google searches didn't yield the background story.  I feel a trip to the microfilm desk at the Boise Library coming on.  Or maybe some knowledgeable readers can help us out here.  Nevada also adopted the Mountain Bluebird as their state bird in 1967.

Peregrine Falcon, source

Your question also led me to discover something that I didn't know.  Idaho adopted the Peregrine Falcon in 2004 as the official Raptor of Idaho in response to 4th graders studying Idaho history.  How many states have an official Raptor?!  For more of the background on this one, read here.  Boise has been the home of The Peregrine Fund since 1984 where they study and work to conserve Peregrines and other birds of prey.  There is also a live webcam on a nest box in downtown Boise where Peregrine Falcons nest and raise their young.  Click here to see the webcam.

One more thing, the Peregrine Falcon is featured on the Idaho quarter:

UPDATE - I went to the library to learn ...  How the Mountain Bluebird came to be Idaho's State Bird.

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