Trivia + Backyard Birding

Did you know that seven states in the U.S. claim the Cardinal as their state bird? It’s true! These states include Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. [1]

Cardinals are abundant in North Carolina, (where I live), and they reside here year-round. What is unusual about these songbirds is that both the males and the females sing equally complex and beautiful songs. (Typically, male birds have the “better voices.”)

I did some birdwatching recently from my backyard, which faces a wooded area and a protected wetland.  The Cardinals were some of the most abundant and striking birds that I saw, so the choice of state bird seemed obvious and appropriate.  However, I found myself wondering who had chosen the Cardinal as the state bird–and when.  After a little bit of googling, here is what I found: “The Cardinal was selected by popular choice as our State Bird on March 4, 1943. (Session Laws, 1943. c. 595; G.S. 145-2).” [2]


A male Cardinal in my backyard.


A lady Cardinal in my backyard.



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