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America’s Favorite State Birds: A Coast-to-Coast Guide

america's state birds

The United States boasts a rich tapestry of bird species, each state selecting one that best encapsulates its natural beauty and heritage. This guide offers a fascinating journey through America’s favourite birds, from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

The Vibrant East: Northern Cardinal

Northern cardinal
@James St. John

In the Eastern states, the Northern Cardinal reigns supreme. Chosen by seven states including Ohio and North Carolina, this red-feathered bird with a unique crest is admired for its beauty and melodious song.

The Sunshine State’s Melodist: Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird
@James St. John

Florida’s choice, the Northern Mockingbird, is a musical marvel. Known for its ability to mimic a variety of sounds, this bird represents the state’s diverse and dynamic ecosystems.

New England’s Tiny Charmer: Black-Capped Chickadee

black capped chikadee
@John Stockla

Maine and Massachusetts celebrate the Black-Capped Chickadee. This small bird, with its distinctive black head, symbolizes the cheerful and resilient spirit of the Northeast.

Great Lakes’ Harbinger of Spring: American Robin

american robin

Michigan’s American Robin, a symbol of spring, is beloved for its bright orange belly and uplifting song. It embodies the natural beauty and the rejuvenating spirit of the Great Lakes region.

Heartland’s Melodious Bird: Western Meadowlark

western meadowlark
@Channel City Camera Club

In the Midwest, the Western Meadowlark, chosen by states like Kansas, is famous for its yellow breast and sweet song. It represents the vast open spaces and agricultural roots of the heartland.

Deep South’s Resilient Icon: Brown Pelican

brown pelican
@Michael L. Baird

Louisiana’s Brown Pelican, a symbol of resilience, mirrors the state’s spirit of recovery. Once endangered, this coastal bird’s comeback story is as inspiring as the region it represents.

California’s Quirky Quail

california quail

The California Quail, with its distinctive topknot, represents the state’s diverse landscapes. This plump bird, common in various habitats, symbolizes California’s natural diversity.

Pacific Northwest’s Golden Bird: American Goldfinch

@Jarek Tuszyński

Washington State’s American Goldfinch shines with its bright yellow feathers. A common sight in gardens, it embodies the natural beauty and joy of the Pacific Northwest.

Alaska’s Hardy Willow Ptarmigan

Willow ptarmigan

Alaska’s Willow Ptarmigan, capable of changing its plumage with the seasons, epitomizes the ruggedness of the Arctic. This bird symbolizes the wild and enduring spirit of the Last Frontier.@Colin Canterbury


America’s state birds, from the Northern Cardinal to the Brown Pelican, reflect the country’s diverse landscapes and cultures. They not only embody the unique qualities of each state but also highlight the significance of preserving their natural habitats, underscoring the rich avian heritage of the United States.

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