State bird improvements: Replace cardinals and robins with warblers and hawks.
Is Your State Bird a Stupid State Bird? What It Should Be Instead.
The state of the universe.
May 17 2013 5:06 PM

What the State Birds Should Be

Seven cardinals but no hawks? Come on!

(Continued from Page 1)

25. Missouri. Official state bird: eastern bluebird


Boring, but I don’t know what else would be better.

What it should be: eastern bluebird

26. Montana. Official state bird: western meadowlark


What it should be: McCown’s longspur

27. Nebraska. Official state bird: western meadowlark


What it should be: sandhill crane

28. Nevada. Official state bird: mountain bluebird

Look, Nevada, you’re insane. You should have a bird that also represents what a zany, mixed-up world this is. How about a fat Asian grouse that was introduced by hunters in the 1960s and has managed to hang on in some remote Nevadan mountains?

What it should be: Himalayan snowcock

29. New Hampshire. Official state bird: purple finch

OK, just go with it.

What it should be: purple finch

30. New Jersey. Official state bird: eastern goldfinch

Are you serious? Another outdated name? Come on, Jersey. You’ve got a fine birding reputation, and you’re better than this.

What it should be: seaside sparrow

31. New Mexico. Official state bird: greater roadrunner


What it should be: greater roadrunner

32. New York. Official state bird: eastern bluebird

Another win for the powerful bluebird Lobby.

What it should be: cerulean warbler

33. North Carolina. Official state bird: northern cardinal

More like bore-thern cardinal.

What it should be: Carolina chickadee

34. North Dakota. Official state bird: western meadowlark

Was western meadowlark the official state bird of the entire Louisiana Purchase and they just kept if after becoming states?

What it should be: chestnut-collared longspur

35. Ohio. Official state bird: northern cardinal

Uuggghhhhhhh the wooorrrssssttt.

What it should be: indigo bunting

36. Oklahoma. Official state bird: scissor-tailed flycatcher

Hell yeah! Nailed it!

What it should be: scissor-tailed flycatcher

37. Oregon. Official state bird: western meadowlark

Stop it with the meadowlarks. I’m resisting the temptation for Oregon junco here, in favor of something that would never happen.

What it should be: northern spotted owl

38. Pennsylvania. Official state bird: ruffed grouse

I like it.

What it should be: ruffed grouse

39. Rhode Island. Official state bird: Rhode Island red chicken

Hahaha, Rhode Island you so crazy.

What it should be: bee hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world. Ha ha just kidding! Rhode Island red chicken

40. South Carolina. Official state bird: Carolina wren

OK. Thank you.

What it should be: Carolina wren

41. South Dakota. Official state bird: ring-necked pheasant

An exotic. You’re kidding me. Is your state meal General Tso’s chicken? Is your state hat the sombrero? Is your state anthem the Canadian national anthem?

What it should be: sharp-tailed grouse

42. Tennessee. Official state bird: northern mockingbird

What is it with mockingbirds? I do not understand. They are garbage birds that eat dumpster trash! Is that what you want to identify with, Tennessee?

What it should be: Tennessee warbler

43. Texas. Official state bird: northern mockingbird

Sometimes—after a nice full day, perhaps spent in the company of loved ones—one can forget that the world is a cold, uncaring place full of death and sadness. Thanks, Texas, the birdiest state in the entire country, for reminding me that this civilization we’ve built and work our fingers to the bone trying to perfect is as meaningless as a sand castle in the tide.

What it should be: any other bird in the state other than northern mockingbird. Roseate spoonbill? Golden-cheeked warbler? Swainson’s hawk? Aplomado falcon? Anything.

Roseate spoonbill.
Roseate spoonbill

Courtesy of ~Shanth/Flickr

44. Utah. Official state bird: California gull

At first I was mad: “You named your official state bird after a bird named for a different state?” But then I learned that California gulls ate a bunch of locusts back in the early Mormon days and saved a bunch of lives, so I’m OK with this. State birds with stories are good state birds.

What it should be: California gull

45. Vermont. Official state bird: hermit thrush

Fine. Thank you for restoring sanity, Vermont.

What it should be: hermit thrush

Hermit Thrush.
Hermit thrush

Courtesy of Seabamirum/Flickr

46. Virginia. Official state bird: northern cardinal

Just when I think I’m out, they suck me right back in. Shut up, Virginia.

What it should be: barred owl

Barred Owl.
Barred owl

Courtesy of jocelynsart/Flickr

47. Washington. Official state bird: willow goldfinch

What is going on? Nobody can get the goldfinch right!

What it should be: glaucous-winged gull

Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens).
Glaucous-winged gull

Courtesy of Kain Kalju/Flickr

48. West Virginia. Official state bird: northern cardinal

West Virginia I am so mad at your right now I could explode.

What it should be: Swainson’s warbler

Swainson's Warbler.
Swainson's warbler.

Courtesy of Don Faulkner/Flickr

49. Wisconsin. Official state bird: American robin

I just … I can’t.

What it should be: golden-winged warbler

Golden-winged Warbler.
Golden-winged warbler

Courtesy of Andy Reago/Flickr

50. Wyoming. Official state bird: western meadowlark

I hate you.

What it should be: greater sage-grouse

A greater sage-grouse male struts at a lek (dancing or mating ground) near Bridgeport, CA to attract a mate.
A greater sage-grouse male struts at a lek (dancing or mating ground) near Bridgeport, Calif., to attract a mate.

Courtesy of Jeannie Stafford/USFWS/Flickr

Final Thoughts: This has been the most depressing post I have ever put together. Three robins but no blue jay? Seven cardinals but no owls or hawks? Five filthy mockingbirds? This is what we pay taxes for, folks.

This article originally appeared in the Birdist.

Nicholas Lund lives and birds in Washington, D.C., and writes for the Birdist. Follow him on Twitter.