Not all state birds are created equal. Some birds have the title in multiple states!
A state bird is usually selected by state legislatures. All 50 U.S. states have a state bird, with the last being picked by Arizona in the 1970s – the Cactus Wren (UnitedStatesNow.com).
Here are the five most common state birds, presented in fun power rankings format.
1. Northern Cardinal – State Bird of Seven States
The Northern Cardinal is the state bird of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The striking Northern Cardinal is known for its distinctive red crest and black mask. It’s a year-round resident in many eastern and Midwest states, and is often seen at bird feeders. This is my favorite bird and it inspired me to start bird feeding in the first place. It’s more than deserving of being the most popular state bird!
2. Western Meadowlark – State Bird of Six States
The Western Meadowlark is the state bird of Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, and Wyoming.
The Western Meadowlark is a medium-sized bird with yellow and brown feathers and a distinctive black ‘V’ on its chest. It’s often in grassy fields and prairies. It can be found throughout the Midwest and Western United States (Cornell Bird Lab).
3. Northern Mockingbird – State Bird of Five States
The state bird of Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, and Tennessee.
The Northern Mockingbird is a medium-sized slender grey bird with a long tail. It’s known for its big personality and ability to mimic the songs of other birds. A male can learn 200 songs during its life, according to the Cornell Bird Lab.
You can find Northern Mockingbirds throughout the continental United States.
4. American Robin – State Bird of Three States (Tie)
The American Robin is the state bird of Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin
The American Robin is a medium-sized bird with a distinctive orange breast and gray and brown feathers. It is often one of the first birds to be seen in the spring.
5. American Goldfinch – State Bird of Three States (Tie)
The state bird of Iowa, New Jersey and Washington.
My parents always had a couple of bird feeders out when I was growing up and the American Goldfinch was a common visitor. I remember their bright summer yellow colors catching my eye, even when I was a kid!
American Goldfinches are common in much of the United States and are common visitors to bird feeders for thistle or sunflower seed.