State and Territory Birds
Beginning in 1926, when Kentucky officially named the handsome red bird or cardinal as its state bird, campaigns were launched nationwide until each state had selected at least one favorite bird as its avian symbol. Audubon societies and women's clubs from 1926 through the early 1930s were largely responsible for fueling public interest and holding popular votes, many of them among school children. Since then, of course, several states have established or changed state birds.
The cardinal is not only the first to have been proclaimed a state bird, but it also holds the distinction of having been designated by seven states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. The western meadow lark holds second place, having been honored by Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wyoming. The mockingbird, another favorite, has been named the state bird of Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.
Though the robin is probably the most remembered in idiom and fable, it has surprisingly been selected by only three states: Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Maine and Massachusetts concurred that the chickadee was a fine emblem for their states, while Iowa and New Jersey agreed on the Eastern goldfinch.
Both Missouri and New York selected the bluebird in 1927, but New York waited for more than forty years to make it official. Again, over thirty years elapsed between the decisions of Idaho and Nevada to designate the