Whether you're exploring common types of birds, birdwatching, or learning about state symbols, a list of state birds from all 50 U.S. states can help. When you take a closer look at a state birds list, you'll see the cardinal is the most common state bird as it's been chosen by seven states.
Alabama Northern Flicker
Although it is commonly called the yellowhammer, the correct name of Alabama's state bird is the Northern flicker, or Colaptes auratus (Linnaeus). Male Northern flickers appear to have a sort of mustache painted near their beaks, while females don't have the mustache. Northern flickers are a type of woodpecker and were named Alabama's state bird in 1927.
Alaska Willow Ptarmigan
A group of schoolchildren in 1955 picked the willow ptarmigan, or Lagopus lagopus, as the state bird, but it wasn't made official until 1960 when Alaska became a state. Willow ptarmigans are the largest type of arctic grouse found in Alaska and change their color to white in winter to help camouflage them from predators.
Arizona Cactus Wren
The cactus wren, or Heleodytes brunneicapillus couesi, became the state bird of Arizona in 1931. It's the largest type of North American wren even though it's only about 7-9 inches long. Cactus wrens nest inside cacti and use the spines as protection.
Arkansas Northern Mockingbird
The State Federation of Women's Clubs in Arkansas asked for the mockingbird, or Mimus polyglottos, to be named the state bird and their request was granted in 1929. A single mockingbird can know up to 30 different songs, including sounds that mimic other animals and objects.
The California quail, or Lophortyx californica, became the state bird of California in 1931. The bird is also called the valley quail and looks like it has a little comma hanging off the top of its head.
Colorado Lark Bunting
In 1931 the lark bunting, or Calamospiza melanocoryus Stejneger, became Colorado's state bird. Male lark buntings change from black and white to a gray brown color in winter and perform an elaborate courtship flight to attract females.
Connecticut American Robin
The American robin is actually a migratory thrush, or Turdus migratorius. It was named the state bird of Connecticut in 1943. The name "robin" was used by early settlers to remember and honor the English bird robin. While many birds fly South for winter, many robins spend their winters in New England.
Delaware Blue Hen Chicken
Blue hen chickens are known for their fighting abilities, which is why they were chosen as the state bird of Delaware in 1939. Blue hen chickens aren't an official breed of chickens, so they don't have a scientific name. Their name came from the coloring of a famous chicken that inspired the nickname of a company of Delaware soldiers in the Revolutionary war.
Florida Northern Mockingbird
In 1927 the mockingbird, or Mimus polyglottos, became the state bird of Florida. Mockingbirds are helpful to people because they eat insects and weed seeds. Mockingbirds can sing for hours without stopping.
Georgia Brown Thrasher
The brown thrasher, or Toxostoma rufum, didn't become Georgia's state bird until 1970. The brown thrasher is a large songbird and the males sing loudly to defend their territory.
Pronounced "nay-nay" like the popular dance move, Hawaii's state bird is the nene, or Branta sandwicensis. The nene was an endangered goose until 2019 and is only found naturally on the islands of Hawaii. It was named state bird in 1957.
Idaho Mountain Bluebird
In 1931 the mountain bluebird, or Sialia arctcia, became the state bird of Idaho. Mountain bluebirds fly in a zig-zag patterns which distinguishes them from other birds.
Illinois Northern Cardinal
In 1929 Illinois picked the Northern cardinal, or Cardinalis cardinalis, as its state bird. Students voted for the cardinal which is known for its bright red coloring and symbolism as the spirit of a loved one who has died.
Indiana Northern Cardinal
In 1933 Indiana chose the cardinal, or Cardinalis cardinalis, as its state bird. Cardinals are commonly called "the red bird" because of the bright red color of males' feathers. Cardinals don't migrate, and unlike other songbirds, the females do sing.
Iowa Eastern Goldfinch
Other names for the Eastern goldfinch include the American goldfinch and the wild canary. Iowa selected the Eastern goldfinch, or carduelis tristis, as its state bird in 1933. Their bright yellow color makes them stand out and they were chosen because they remain in Iowa through the winters.
Kansas Western Meadowlark
Like many other states, children were asked to vote for the state bird in Kansas in 1925. They chose the Western meadowlark, or Sturnella neglecta, and the selection was made official in 1937. Meadowlarks have bright yellow chests and throats, and their song sounds like a flute.
Kentucky Northern Cardinal
Kentucky also chose the Northern cardinal, or Cardinalis cardinalis, as their state bird in 1926. Male cardinals have territories up to four acres and defend them aggressively.
Louisiana Brown Pelican
In 1966 the brown Pelican, or Pelecanus occidentalis, became the state bird of Louisiana. The people of Louisiana love this unique bird so much, the state is nicknamed "The Pelican State" and it is pictured as a symbol on their state flag.
Maine Black-capped Chickadee
The black-capped chickadee, or Parus atricapillus, became the state bird of Maine in 1927. These plump little birds appear to have a black cap on their heads and are commonly seen at bird feeders.
Maryland Baltimore Oriole
While they're not exclusively native to the city Baltimore, Maryland, the Baltimore oriole, or Icterus galbula, became the state's official bird in 1947. Baltimore orioles create unique nests that look like little hanging baskets.
In 1941 the black-capped chickadee, or Parus atricapillus, was named the state bird of Massachusetts. Its song sounds like it's saying "Chick-adee-dee-dee" and it is sometimes called a titmouse or tomtit.
Michigan American Robin
The Michigan Audubon Society helped pick the American robin, or Turdus migratorius, as the state bird in 1931. They believed it was the most well-known and loved bird in the state. American robins are known for their red chest and often called "robin red-breast."
In 1961 Minnesota chose the loon, or Gavia immer, as their state bird. Sometimes called the common loon, these birds look clumsy on land, but they are excellent fliers and swimmers.
Mississippi Northern Mockingbird
The Women's Federated Clubs of Mississippi helped choose the mockingbird, or Mimus polyglottos, as the official state bird in 1944. Mockingbirds like to forage on the ground for food.
Missouri Eastern Bluebird
The Eastern bluebird, or Sialia sialis, is considered a symbol of happiness, which is why Missouri chose it as their state bird in 1927. Eastern bluebirds have blue tails and wings and prefer to eat insects and fruits.
Montana Western Meadowlark
Merriweather Lewis was the first to record seeing a Western meadowlark, or Sturnella neglecta, which became the Montana state bird in 1931. Meadowlarks are known for their distinct, cheerful song.
Nebraska Western Meadowlark
Nebraska also selected the Western meadowlark, or Sturnella neglecta, as their state bird in 1929. Their bright yellow chest and throat and happy song make them a favorite bird.
Nevada Mountain Bluebird
The mountain bluebird, or Sialia currucoides, became Nevada's state bird in 1967. Mountain bluebirds don't sing much and spend their summers in high elevations.
New Hampshire Purple Finch
In 1957, after a heated competition, the purple finch, or Carpodacus purpureus, won out as the state bird of New Hampshire. Despite their name, purple finches aren't actually purple. The males have a raspberry color around their head and chest.
New Jersey Eastern Goldfinch
In 1935 the Eastern goldfinch, or Carduelis tristis, became the official state bird of New Jersey. The Eastern goldfinch is now officially known as the American goldfinch. They are bright yellow with black and white wings.
New Mexico Greater Roadrunner
New Mexico's official state bird is the greater roadrunner, or Geococcyx californianus. The bird was chosen in 1949 and can run up to 15 miles per hour.
New York Eastern Bluebird
It wasn't until 1970 that New York chose the Eastern bluebird, or Sialia sialis, as their state bird. These bluebirds love meadows, open woodlands, and farmlands.
North Carolina Northern Cardinal
In 1933 North Carolina's official state bird was the Carolina chickadee, but legislators didn't like its nickname of tomtit and repealed their decree a week later. In 1943, after a public vote, the Northern cardinal, or Cardinalis cardinalis, was selected as the new state bird.
North Dakota Western Meadowlark
North Dakota picked the Western meadowlark, or Sturnella neglecta, as their state bird in 1947. Unlike many other birds, Western meadowlarks nest on the ground.
Ohio Northern Cardinal
In 1933, the Northern cardinal, or Cardinalis cardinalis, was selected by Ohio as their state bird. Before the 19th century, cardinals were actually rare in Ohio, but now they're abundant in all Ohio counties.
Oklahoma Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Oklahoma chose the scissor-tailed flycatcher, or Tyrannus forficatus, as their state bird in 1951. This bird was chosen partially because it's nesting range was in Oklahoma, partially because it eats harmful insects, and partially because no one else had chosen it as their state bird.
Oregon Western Meadowlark
Students in 1927 voted for the Western meadowlark, or Sturnella neglecta, as Oregon's state bird and it was made official later that year.The underside of the Western meadowlark is bright yellow and features a black "v" shape.
Pennsylvania Ruffed Grouse
Also called the partridge, the ruffed grouse, or Bonasa umbellus, became Pennsylvania's official bird 1931. Ruffed grouse love snow and males defend a territory up to 10 acres.
Rhode Island Red
In 1954 after a public vote, the Rhode Island Red, or Gallus gallus, became Rhode Island's state bird. The Rhode Island Red is a breed of chicken that originated in Rhode Island and lays brown eggs.
South Carolina's Carolina Wren
In 1948 the Carolina wren, or Thryothorus ludovicianus, replaced the mockingbird as South Carolina's state bird. The bird is known for its distinctive white stripe over the eyes and a song that many hear as "tea-ket-tle."
South Dakota Ring-necked Pheasant
In 1943 the ring-necked pheasant, or Phasianus colchicus, was named South Dakota's state bird. Although these birds are originally from Asia, they thrive in South Dakota's landscape.
Tennessee Northern Mockingbird
An election held in 1933 helped name the mockingbird, or Mimus polyglottos, Tennessee's state bird. Because of their unique mimicking abilities, mockingbirds were captured and sold as pets from the 1700s to the early 1900s.
Texas Northern Mockingbird
Texas named the Northern mockingbird, or Mimus polyglottos, their state bird in 1927. Texas chose the mockingbird because it is abundant in the state as is known to fight to protect its home.
Utah California Gull
Despite its name, the California gull, or Larus californicus, is actually the state bird of Utah. Chosen in 1955, these sea gulls were honored as a state symbol because they ate tons of destructive crickets in 1848 and saved the people from losing all their crops.
Vermont Hermit Thrush
The hermit thrush, or Catharus guttatus, became Vermont's state bird in 1941. It has been nicknamed the American nightingale because it has what many call the most beautiful song of any American bird.
Virginia Northern Cardinal
Virginia named the Northern cardinal, or Cardinalis cardinalis, their state bird in 1950. Female cardinals take care of their hatchlings for the first 10 days, then the males take over.
Washington American Goldfinch
In 1951 the American goldfinch, or Carduelis tristis, became the official state bird of Washington. These yellow birds love to eat dandelions, thistles, and sunflowers.
West Virginia Northern Cardinal
Students and civic organizations helped name the Northern cardinal, or Cardinalis cardinalis, as West Virginia's state bird in 1949. Female cardinals are brown with red on top of their heads and in their wing and tail feathers.
Wisconsin American Robin
In 1927 the American robin, or Turdus migratorius, became the state bird of Wisconsin after a public school vote. They chose the robin because it is one of the most abundant year-round birds in the state.
Wyoming Western Meadowlark
The Western meadowlark, or Sturnella Neglecta, was named Wyoming's state bird in 1927. Western meadowlarks are in the same family as orioles and blackbirds.
State Symbols Take Flight
Let your knowledge of state symbols soar as you explore state birds and other state symbols like a list of state trees. Take your state learning a step further and learn all the U.S. state capitals adn all the state abbreviations.