What is a state bird of Illinois?

Illinois is a state in the United States and this state has chosen animals and birds as its official bird animal. The state animal of Illinois is the white-tailed deer but do you know what the state bird of Illinois is?

Illinois has chosen the northern cardinal official state bird. It was decided in 1929 to select the northern cardinal as the state bird. The bird is a songbird and has bright red color. While the female birds are covered with great or brown color and have a few touches of red color on their body. The male ones are generally popular in town as they have vibrant red plumage which can be spotted easily from a far distance.

These birds are scientifically termed cardinal cardinals, also called Virginia nightingale or Winter Redbird. 

Why did Illinois choose the northern cardinal as the state bird?

These birds were chosen to be the seven state birds among which Illinois was the first. There was a voting system in 1928 for choosing their state bird where the school children voted for the state bird. It’s the beauty of the northern cardinal with a bright red appearance and lovely, elegant whistling sounds which makes these birds popular in the towns, especially among children.

When did the northern cardinal become the state bird of Illinois?

Illinois was represented as a state on 3rd December 1818. On 1929, June 4 the legislation was passed by the Illinois general assembly and they declared the northern cardinal as the state bird of Illinois. The other states which share this same bird as the state bird are Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, and North Carolina.

Characteristics and looks

The male northern cardinal has crimson red feathers and they grow a little larger than the female ones. The female ones have reddish-brown or gold feathers. The female bird has a yellow chest and upper body and has grey color streaks. Their stomach areas appear white and light grey. These beautiful birds stand a height of 7.9 to 9 inches long and their wingspan ranges from 9.8 to 12 inches. They are not so heavy birds and have only 2.29 ounces in body weight.

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Do these northern cardinals have committees?

The northern cardinals live a life of a family that they protect very strongly. They fight to protect their family. The birds can attack the predators to save their family life and nest. They are not so dangerous but if someone tries to get close to their family or nest they can attack them. They can even fight with their species if some other northern cardinal tries to enter the already occupied breeding place.

What do these northern cardinals eat?

Northern cardinals mainly feed on seeds and fruits. They are granivores. They eat weed seeds, other fruits, grains, berries, and cherries. They also prefer to eat other fruits. Whenever they are seen in the yard or field, they can be fed by giving them sunflower seeds, peanut prices, or any variety of fruits, corn, and berries.

Other Interesting facts

  •  All-female cardinals can sing while sitting on the nest. A mated bird can phrase each other by songs for finding and bringing the food. The female cardinals can sing longer and more complex than the male birds.
  • The lifespan of these birds is approximately three years as they face so many challenges day to day in their life. They have to face the risk of climatic changes, predators and starvation.
  • These birds are also used as a representation for professional teams. The St. Louis Cardinals baseball team and the Arizona Cardinals NFL team have the state bird of Illinois as their representation. 
  • These birds got the characteristic color because of the yellow, orange, and red pigments which are present in the food that is eaten by them. These pigments are the reason for the coloration in the feathers of the bird.
  • These birds are known to be together as a pair year-round and therefore they are called monogamous.

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