The state bird of the Rocky Mountain states are quite different than each other. They range from the small Lark Bunting to the large California Gull.
Sometimes I am amazed at the sheer number of different official state symbol, such as birds. All states of the USA have specially designated birds, flowers, trees, and just about anything you can think of. It is interesting though to learn how each of those birds or animals became the official symbol of the state. Here are state birds and a little bit about how they became the state’s symbol.
Colorado State Bird – Lark Bunting
The lark bunting was made the Colorado bird in 1931. It was chosen as such because it has a beautiful song and a really neat acrobatic display that it makes when courting. The bird at the top of this post is the Lark Bunting.
They live in the prairie and grassland of the central and western USA up to 8,000 feet in elevation. This bird is the only sparrow whose male molts and acquires a breeding plumage.
Idaho State Bird – Mountain Bluebird
The Mountain bluebird was made the Idaho bird in 1931, the same year as Colorado chose the Lark Bunting. School children in Idaho and then the state legislature held votes and chose the Mountain bluebird over the Western Tanager.
This bird is common and lives throughout Idaho and western North America and is often seen in Idaho’s mountains. The mountain bluebird can live in colder weather than other bluebirds. Their main food is insects and berries.
Montana State Bird – Western Meadowlark
This bird was chosen by school children and then voted on by the State legislature to be the official bird of the state in 1931.
The Western Meadowlark’s cheerful song and coloring make it easily recognizable. This bird hunts for food on the ground, mainly eating insects and grains. They also have a cup nest on the ground.
Utah State Bird – California Gull
It is interesting that the bird symbol of Utah has the name California in it. It was selected by the Stte legislature in 1955.
This bird was chosen because it played a very important role in helping the first settlers survive when they arrived in Utah. In 1848 a cricket infestation was eating up the early settlers crops, which was threatening their survival. Then the California gulls came and ate the crickets, thereby saving the crops and the people’s lives.
They are common around the waters and wetlands near the Great Salt Lake and can be found nearly everywhere, including the landfill.
Wyoming State Bird – Western Meadowlark
Incredibly, at the same time as in Montana, the children and state legislature in Wyoming voted for the Western Meadowlark to be the symbol for Wyoming. This bird is now the state symbol for Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, and also North Dakota.