Guide to State Birds

State birds represent all 50 states. Some birds represent more than one. Does your state share a state bird with another state?

State Birds

  • American goldfinches are the state bird of Iowa, New Jersey and Washington. American goldfinches prefer to live in open spaces with just a few trees or shrubs. Stock hulled sunflower seeds and thistle in your feeders to attract these birds.
  • American robins belong to Connecticut, Michigan and Wisconsin. These extremely popular birds are the largest birds in the thrush family. Their nests can include mud as well as grasses, wool and string. Robins can live as long as 14 years, although the average is six years.
  • The Baltimore oriole is Maryland's state bird. Female orioles build their nests as high as 90 feet above the ground off of branches. You can attract these birds with pieces of oranges or grape jelly.
  • Black-capped chickadees are honored by the states of Maine and Massachusetts. These birds tend to nest in rotten tree wood between April and June. While these chickadees generally eat insects, you might be able to attract the birds using sunflower seeds.
  • Blue hen chickens, Delaware's state bird, were famed as fighting birds during the Revolutionary War period.
  • Brown pelican are named as Louisiana's state bird. These birds, recognizable by the distinctive pouches in their bills, live almost solely on fish.
  • Brown thrashers, the state bird of Georgia, have amazing vocal abilities. They can sing 3000 different songs.
  • The California gull is Utah's state bird. These birds range as far as North Dakota.
  • Carolina wrens are South Carolina's bird of choice. Carolina wrens tend to form "marriages" and travel together as long as both birds are alive. These birds don't typically migrate during winter months, although some young birds will fly north.
  • Cactus wrens, Arizona's state bird, are masters of subterfuge. These birds build several nests, but only use one in an effort to confuse predators.
  • California quail is the official California bird. These birds have an amusing "plume" on the top of their heads that looks like it consists of one feather. In fact, the plume consists of six feathers overlaying each other.
  • The common loon, Minnesota's state bird, is really "loony." The birds' call is a combination of a yodel and a weird laugh.
  • Eastern bluebird, honored by the states of Missouri and New York, likes to eat spiders, insects and worms. During the winter months, these birds look for berries and seeds.
  • The hermit thrush is Vermont's state bird. In a poem that written for Abraham Lincoln after the President's death, American poet Walt Whitman used the hermit thrush to symbolize America's voice.
  • Lark buntings, Colorado's state bird, are a large type of sparrow that searches for food in low vegetation.
  • Mountain bluebirds are Idaho and Nevada's bird of choice. Mountain bluebirds' songs sound similar to those of robins. These bluebirds eat insects and berries.
  • Nene, or the Hawaiian Goose, belongs to Hawaii. These birds don't migrate and live on the islands of Maui, Kauai and Hawaii.
  • Northern cardinals are the state bird of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia. You may see males feeding females when their eggs are being laid and incubated. After the eggs hatch, both parents will feed their babies.
  • Northern mockingbird counts as being the state bird of Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. These birds are unusual in that they defend two territories, their breeding territories and their feeding territories. While females contribute, the males do most of the work building nests. Northern mockingbirds eat fruits, berries and insects.
  • The purple finch is New Hampshire's state bird. As part of their mating rituals, the males of the species might jump up a foot off of the ground, twist their tails and push out their chests all at the same time.
  • Ruffed grouses, called "carpenter birds" by Native Americans, are Pennsylvania's state bird.
  • Scissor tailed flycatchers were chosen by the state of Oklahoma as its official bird. During mating season, males will actually perform complex moves such as reverse summersaults to attract females.
  • Ring necked pheasants, South Dakota's state bird, are also called common pheasants.
  • Roadrunners, the state bird of New Mexico, can really run. These birds can move up to 17 miles per hour, fast enough to catch a rattlesnake for a meal.
  • Willow ptarmigans, which look a little like chickens, are Alaska's state bird. Unlike other birds, willow ptarmigans have three changes of feather colors per year.
  • The western meadowlark claims the states of Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon and Wyoming. During the breeding season, male western meadowlarks usually have two "wives."
  • The wood thrush, which lives throughout the eastern United States, is the bird of the District of Columbia. These birds are more often heard than seen, as they hide well and "talk" loud.
  • The yellowhammer has its place as the Alabama state bird. While yellowhammers eat berries, nuts and seeds, these birds seem to consume the most ants when compared to other American birds. Also called the northern flicker, yellowhammers, when on the ground, move around in awkward hops.
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