Discover Nature NotesMore posts

Red, White, and Blue in Nature

Jun 28, 2020

This week, in honor of Independence Day, we celebrate red, white, and blue in nature.

Cardinal redbirds are seen all year, but cardinal flowers bloom a fiery red in late summer, and attract hummingbirds, butterflies and humans. These native plants are often found near water.

American white pelicans are a massive bird with a snowy white body. These ancient looking flyers will arrive in wetlands in August. The bald eagle is our patriotic symbol. Adults sport the familiar, white-feathered head.

Our springs provide deep blue waters with natural cooling on hot summer days. If you've never been to a natural spring, summer is a great time to visit. Blue catfish and bluegill are popular summer fish.

And showing off red, white and blue in its head and neck is the wild turkey. Fitting colors for an animal that Benjamin Franklin had proposed to be our national symbol. He thought the turkey more dignified than the scavenging eagle.

You can celebrate this year’s 4th of July by seeing how many things in nature you can spot that are red, white, and blue. Watch the video below to get you started. And scroll through the pictures to see more.

Feelin’ Bluegill

  • Bluegill are important aquatic predators in the streams and ponds they occupy. In turn, they provide food for larger fish. The eggs and defenseless fry are eaten by numerous predators.
  • These prolific breeders occur in many habitats, from farm ponds to large reservoirs and nearly any stream capable of supporting fish.
  • They prefer deeper pools and backwaters of low-gradient streams, particularly in overflow pools along river floodplains.
  • They do not tolerate high turbidity and thrive best in warm, clear waters with aquatic plants or other cover.
  • Bluegill feed primarily by sight, at all levels of the water, homing in on moving objects.
For more on the bluegill, visit MDC’s Field Guide.





Adult Eagle_4.jpg

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

MO DOC-2020-DNN July Wk 1 RWandBlue-MDOC2007-LF01.mp3

Discover Nature Notes Radio
Discover red, white, and blue hues in nature

Discover Red, White and Blue in Nature

Discover Red, White and Blue in Nature
Discover Red, White and Blue in Nature

051410 blue spring-34.jpg

Blue Spring
With a depth over 300 feet, Blue Spring is Missouri's deepest.

Cardinal flower_05.jpg

Cardinal Flower
Cardinal Flower



Recent Posts

snow geese flying

Migration Sensation

Nov 29, 2020

Here's one crowd you can safely stand in the midst and watch a spectacular fall show between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Check out Missouri's unique vantage point for viewing wild visitors in this week's Discover Nature Note.


The Thanksgiving Turkey

Nov 22, 2020

Wild turkeys are birds simmered in American tradition. Discover their story, some fun trivia, and tasty recipes in this week's Discover Nature Note.

Red-tailed hawk in flight

I Spy a Hawk

Nov 15, 2020

Wonder why we see so many hawks near the highways? Hawks use the roadside to scan fields for their prey. Find out more in this weeks Discover Nature Note.

Field Guide

Discovering nature from A-Z is one click away


You had fun hunting, catching or gathering your quarry—now have more fun cooking and eating it.
Check out the recipes