Skip to main content

Main Area

Main

Do you know your state bird?

1/
Agustin J. Villarreal // Shutterstock

Do you know your state bird?

Each state in America boasts its own culture, history, and natural beauty. To represent such diversity, people from these states have chosen their own set of symbols and customs. Specific flags, songs, mottos, flowers, and even fruits commemorate the uniqueness of individual states. Some of these symbols border on the bizarre: Texas, for example, has made the Dutch Oven its official state cooking pot. Other symbols are more universal, like state birds.

Many people remember learning about their states' history back in elementary school. But can you still remember your state bird? To test your state knowledge, Stacker compiled a list of every official state bird in the United States. As a quick refresher, a state bird is generally indigenous to the region and frequently seen within state boundaries—but it doesn't have to be unique to that state. Case in point: Five states claimed the mockingbird, six claimed the meadowlark, and seven designated the cardinal as their official bird mascot.

Time to test your feathery friend knowledge.

You may also like: Do you know your state fish?

2/
Creative Commons Zero

Alabama

In 1927, Alabama became one of the first states to adopt an official bird—and has a compelling narrative behind the selection. Civil War soldiers from the state were nicknamed after this bird for the bright cloth on their uniforms coattails, collars, and sleeves.

3/
Tim Zurowski // Shutterstock

Alabama

Northern flicker (Yellowhammer)

4/
Creative Commons Zero

Alaska

This isn’t the kind of bird you’d find in the average American suburb, and it’s got a name that's equally as rare. The feathery creature is native to the arctic tundra and is the only bird in its group in which males helps out with parental care.

5/
Peter Wilton // Wikimedia Commons

Alaska

Willow ptarmigan (red grouse)

6/
Brenn Moyan // Wikimedia Commons

Arizona

Much like its namesake, this bird doesn’t need to drink freestanding water—it gets most of its hydration from the food it eats. That’s why you’ll find this fearless bird hopping around the dusty desert, letting out its raw, scratchy call.

7/
Richard Crossley // Wikimedia Commons

Arizona

Cactus wren

8/
Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

Arkansas

If you’ve ever woken to the sound of birds outside your window, there’s a good chance the culprit is this extremely vocal bird. There's a reason it hangs around your house, too: This species' diet is largely comprised of insects commonly found in people's backyards such as caterpillars, ants, and grasshoppers.

9/
Ryan Hagerty // Wikimedia Commons

Arkansas

Northern mockingbird

10/
Nick Fox // Shutterstock

California

This bird is a bit of a dandy, with a distinctive black plume on its forehead. The look befits the state famous for show business.

11/
Brocken Inaglory // Wikimedia Commons

California

California valley quail

12/
Larry Lamsa // Wikimedia Commons

Colorado

Like many humans, this common bird changes its plumage to a more modest and somewhat drab color during the winter months. This species also likes to travel in packs—several thousand might fly together during migration.

13/
Ryan Douglas // Wikimedia Commons

Colorado

Lark bunting

14/
Creative Commons

Connecticut

This little songbird is an American favorite, ironically named by European settlers because of its resemblance to a similar bird overseas. Its song is the first you're likely to hear in the morning, as the bird likes to kick things off just before dawn.

15/
Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut

American robin

16/
Daniel Case // Wikimedia Commons

Delaware

This state bird is also the mascot for the University of Delaware. People's affinity for the species dates back to the Revolutionary War when troops from Kent County, Del., kept these birds as pets and staged cockfights with them for amusement. The regiment and their feathered friends were known for their bravery; so much so that the soldiers were nicknamed after the birds.

17/
Wikimedia Commons

Delaware

Delaware blue hen

18/
Creative Commons

Florida

A loquacious songbird represents this state, though it’s not entirely clear why they didn’t go with a more flashy flamingo instead. This is the third most popular state bird, coming in behind the Northern cardinal and Western meadowlark.

19/
Wikimedia Commons

Florida

Northern mockingbird

20/
Creative Commons

Georgia

This bird may be dull in color, but it makes up for that in size. On average, they're nearly a foot long.

21/
Ken Thomas // Wikimedia Commons

Georgia

Brown thrasher

22/
Cristo Vlahos // Wikimedia Commons

Hawaii

This unique bird is as rare as it is beautiful. You’ll probably only ever see it in its home state.

23/
Dick Daniels // Wikimedia Commons

Hawaii

Nene (Hawaiian goose)

24/
Creative Commons

Idaho

This sturdy little bird was made for harsh environments, though you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at its delicately beautiful plumage. The species likes to make its home in the hollows of trees, but will happily settle for dirt banks or holes in the sides of cliffs.

25/
Elaine R. Wilson // Wikimedia Commons

Idaho

Mountain bluebird

26/
Creative Commons

Illinois

This bright and distinctive bird is a popular choice for state symbols and was chosen by Illinois schoolchildren back in 1929. Once most prevalent in the Southeast, the species' northern climb is attributed in part to birdfeeders loaded with the bird's favorite food: sunflower seeds.

27/
Creative Commons

Illinois

Northern cardinal

28/
Derek Jensen // Wikimedia Commons

Indiana

This cheerful species is known for being one of America’s favorite backyard birds. That popularity has no doubt contributed to its role as state bird for several states.

29/
Creative Commons

Indiana

Northern cardinal

30/
Creative Commons

Iowa

You can spot this bird from a mile away by its sunny plumage. Unless it happens to be molting, in which case it might take on a bizarrely patchy appearance.

31/
Ken Thomas // Wikimedia Commons

Iowa

Eastern goldfinch

32/
Wikimedia Commons

Kansas

You’ll spot this melodious songbird throughout the wide open plains of the American Midwest. Its diet consists mostly of seeds and bugs, which the bird finds by rooting in the ground with its bill.

33/
Wikimedia Commons

Kansas

Western Meadowlark

34/
GoodFreePhotos

Kentucky

This mid-sized songbird is commonly referred to as the "redbird." It's easily the most popular choice on this list of state birds.

35/
Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky

Northern cardinal

36/
GoodFreePhotos

Louisiana

Louisiana is particularly proud of its distinctive state bird, which is known for being generous with its young. This bird can be found on the state's flag, seal, and even in its official painting.

37/
Alan D. Wilson // Wikimedia Commons

Louisiana

Brown pelican

38/
Creative Commons

Maine

Not unlike the state it represents, this sociable bird is small in size but big in personality. Its distinctive chattering can be heard deep in the woods as well as the suburbs.

39/
Wikimedia Commons

Maine

Black-capped chickadee

40/
Martin Falbisoner // Wikimedia Commons

Maryland

This flashy-colored bird builds nests that hang from tree branches. Marylanders love the species so much, it doubles as the namesake for the state's professional baseball team.

41/
Brian Gratwicke // Flickr

Maryland

Baltimore oriole

42/
Creative Commons

Massachusetts

This tiny bird has one of the most complex calls in the animal kingdom. It's also nonmigratory, similar to many of the citizens in this iconic state.

43/
Dick Daniels // Wikimedia Commons

Massachusetts

Black-capped chickadee

44/
Rachel Kramer // Wikimedia Commons

Michigan

Legislation named this common bird as its official mascot in 1931 because it was “the best known and best loved of all the birds” in the state. The species is known for its adaptability and up-beat, whistled song: "Cheerily cheery cheerily cheery."

45/
Dakota Lynch // Wikimedia Commons

Michigan

American robin

46/
Yinan Chen // Wikimedia Commons

Minnesota

Minnesota's many beautiful lakes are home to thousands of these distinctive birds, making them the obvious choice as the official state bird. This species is happiest in the water, only going to shore to nest.

47/
Bert De Tilly // Wikimedia Commons

Minnesota

Common loon

48/
Creative Commons

Mississippi

This local bird is drab in color but impossible to miss thanks to its constant, melodious calling. The species was so popular in the 1800s that many people kept them as pets, significantly driving down their numbers. The birds did repopulate, however, and can now be found as far away as Hawaii and Canada.

49/
Wikimedia Commons

Mississippi

Northern mockingbird

50/
Creative Commons

Missouri

This beautiful bird is known for its colorful plumage, which is perhaps why multiple states claimed it for their own. A significant loss of habitat and nesting areas put the future of this species in danger, but numbers have been on the rise thanks in part to a surge in conservation efforts and birdhouses.

51/
Wikimedia Commons

Missouri

Eastern bluebird

52/
Bill45 // Shutterstock

Montana

John James Audubon gave this bird its scientific name, Sturnella neglecta, and accused people traveling west after Lewis and Clark of neglecting to notice the species. The bird is a member of the blackbird family, and as such has extremely strong muscles around its bill that allow the animal to pry its beak open inside dirt or bark and pluck otherwise inaccessible bugs or other food from inside.

53/
Wikimedia Commons

Montana

Western meadowlark

54/
Creative Commons

Nebraska

This state's bird is common in the wide open plains of the American West and Midwest. It can be found singing melodically across remote agricultural areas.

55/
Alan Vernon // Wikimedia Commons

Nebraska

Western meadowlark

56/
Creative Commons

Nevada

This small but sturdy bird is commonly found on American ranchlands. The species is immediately recognizable for its bright blue color.

57/
Tony Hisgett // Wikimedia Commons

Nevada

Mountain bluebird

58/
Jon Platek // Wikimedia Commons

New Hampshire

New Hampshire might be small, but its official bird may be the flashiest of all. Males of this species boast deep rosy hues, noisy songs, and big beaks.

59/
Wikimedia Commons

New Hampshire

Purple finch

60/
Creative Commons

New Jersey

New Jersey's state bird is also called a Wild Canary. The bright and delicate yellow species can be found snacking on elegant flora like dandelions, sunflowers, and evening primrose.

61/
Darren Swim // Wikimedia Commons

New Jersey

Eastern goldfinch

62/
Thomas Shahan // Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico

This unique state bird is most commonly known for its cartoon variation. In real life, this tough species can take down a rattlesnake and runs faster than humans.

63/
Creative Commons

New Mexico

Roadrunner

64/
Creative Commons

New York

This pretty bird is easily spotted by its colorful plumage, as well as for the fact that it is one of the first species to return north in the spring. The oldest-recorded bird of this species was more than 10 years old.

65/
Wikimedia Commons

New York

Eastern bluebird

66/
Creative Commons

North Carolina

Likely one of the first birds American children learn to spot in their backyards, this bright and beloved bird is the favorite of many states. The species' signature red color and spiky hairdos are hard to miss.

67/
Ken Thomas // Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina

Northern cardinal

68/
Creative Commons

North Dakota

Like many Western states, this state chose a common yet well-loved bird that frequents America’s vast prairie lands. Males in this species sing to protect their nesting grounds.

69/
Wikimedia Commons

North Dakota

Western meadowlark

70/
Creative Commons

Ohio

The male version of this state bird is known for its bright red plumage. The brown-colored females are significantly harder to spot.

71/
Connie Barr // Shutterstock

Ohio

Northern cardinal

72/
Wikimedia Commons

Oklahoma

This strikingly beautiful and large bird makes this state its home base, where it is protected by law. Aside from being gorgeous to look at, this bird makes itself useful by eating harmful insects like grasshoppers and beetles.

73/
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren // Wikimedia Commons

Oklahoma

Scissor-tailed flycatcher

74/
Wikimedia Commons

Oregon

This state, like many others, chose a humble bird for its official mascot. Oregon can lay claim as being one of the first states to officially do so, however: School children honored the species in 1927.

75/
Wikimedia Commons

Oregon

Western meadowlark

76/
Wikimedia Commons

Pennsylvania

Also called a partridge, this hearty and territorial bird can survive in severe winters. You can usually spot it where snow is common in the colder months, outlasting its weaker turkey and quail relatives. You can also hear the bird clearly during mating season: Males flap their wings together to create a thumping sound that is not unlike the hum of an engine starting up.

77/
Stan Canter // Wikimedia Commons

Pennsylvania

Ruffed grouse

78/
Roman Eugeniusz // Wikimedia Commons

Rhode Island

This state chose a domesticated bird as its official mascot. The species is easy to find on classic American farms and homesteads all over the state and country.

79/
Creative Commons

Rhode Island

Rhode Island red

80/
Creative Commons

South Carolina

This tiny bird is named for its state, making it a perfect choice for the honor. It is so well-loved that intentionally killing one of these birds is punishable by a fine and jail time.

81/
Dan Pancamo // Wikimedia Commons

South Carolina

 Carolina wren

82/
Creative Commons

South Dakota

This well-known gamebird is one of the world's most-hunted birds. It is also only one of three state birds not native to the United States.

83/
Wikimedia Commons

South Dakota

Ring-necked pheasant

84/
Creative Commons

Tennessee

This popular and highly vocal bird is common all over the United States. The species is recognized for its incredibly complex singing abilities.

85/
Wikimedia Commons

Tennessee

Northern mockingbird

86/
Creative Commons

Texas

Texas may be one of the biggest states in the nation, but its state bird is of modest size. The chatty songbird is common across America and has vocal abilities that stand in contrast to its muted colors.

87/
Wikimedia Commons

Texas

Northern mockingbird

88/
Wolfgang Stuadt // Wikimedia Commons

Utah

This bird may seem like an odd choice of mascot for Utah. That is, until you learn the species saved the Utah's agriculture in 1848 by eating crickets that had decimated the state’s crops.

89/
Wikimedia Commons

Utah

California gull

90/
Creative Commons

Vermont

This sweet bird has a lovely, melancholy song. Its name also perfectly suits Vermont's reputation as a cozy hideaway during winter months.

91/
Double Brow Imagery // Shutterstock

Vermont

Hermit thrush

92/
Creative Commons

Virginia

Virginia is one of many states to choose this distinctively colored and widely loved bird as its representative. Still, with the tourism and travel slogan "Virginia is for Lovers," it's fitting the state's official bird would be one that mates for life with its partner.

93/
Creative Commons

Virginia

Northern cardinal

94/
Creative Commons

Washington

This brightly colored and active little bird represents two other states. The species is widely adored for its acrobatic flying patterns.

95/
Wikimedia Commons

Washington

American goldfinch

96/
Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia

This scarlet-colored beauty is a favorite all over America. The species was officially honored as West Virginia's state bird in 1949.

97/
Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia

 Northern cardinal

98/
Creative Commons

Wisconsin

This bird was voted the state’s symbol by schoolchildren in the 1920s and made official in 1949. In 1971 the state added another bird to its roster: the Mourning Dove, as its official symbol of peace.

99/
Creative Commons

Wisconsin

American robin

100/
Creative Commons

Wyoming

This songbird can be found on prairies all across the American plains. The female of the species lays striking eggs that are white with spots of brown and purple and hatch in less than 15 days.

101/
Dick Daniels // Wikimedia Commons

Wyoming

Western meadowlark

2018 All rights reserved.