U.S. State Animal and Bird Symbols

Mockingbird

Symbols are used to communicate many different ideas. The use of symbols dates far back and can be found throughout the Bible.

Animals and birds are popularly used as symbols to represent areas of importance. As State symbols, animals and birds representative of each State have special meaning for that State.

In 1926, Kentucky was the first State to select a bird symbol. Other States followed, selecting their choices through state legislative acts, gubernatorial proclamation or tradition.

In the 1920s, groups such as the Audubon Society and conservation organizations along with school children worked together to nominate their favorites.

Selections are often made of endangered species in order to protect them. Animals and birds are also selected because they are indigenous to that State or have historic or economic value.

As you will see, many States have chosen the same symbols.

ALABAMA

State Horse – Racking Horse

State Mammal – Black Bear

State Bird – Yellow Hammer

ALASKA

State Land Mammal – Moose

State Marine Mammal – Bowhead Whale

State Dog – Alaskan Malamute

State Bird – Willow Ptarmigan

ARIZONA

State Mammal – Ringtailed Cat

State Bird – Cactus Wren

ARKANSAS

State Mammal – White-tailed Deer

State Bird – Mockingbird

CALIFORNIA

State Animal – Grizzly Bear

State Marine Mammal – Gray Whale

State Bird – California Valley Quail

COLORADO

State Animal – Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep

State Bird – Lark Bunting

CONNECTICUT

State Animal – Sperm Whale

State Bird – Robin

DELAWARE

State Marine Mammal – Horseshoe Crab

State Bird – Blue Hen Chicken

FLORIDA

State Animal – Florida Panther

State Marine Mammal – Manatee

State Saltwater Mammal – Dolphin

State Bird – Mockingbird

GEORGIA

State Marine Mammal – Right Whale

State Bird – Brown Thrasher

HAWAII

State Mammal – Hawaiian Monk Seal

State Marine Mammal – Humpback Whale

State Bird – Nene

IDAHO

State Horse – Appaloosa

State Bird – Mountain Bluebird

ILLINOIS

State Animal – White-tailed Deer

State Bird – Cardinal

INDIANA

State Bird – Cardinal

IOWA

State Bird – Eastern Goldfinch

KANSAS

State Animal – American Bison

State Bird – Western Meadowlark

KENTUCKY

State Wild Game Animal – Gray Squirrel

State Horse – Thoroughbred

State Dog – Dachshund

LOUISIANA

State Dog – Catahoula Leopard Dog

State Mammal – Black Bear

State Bird – Eastern Brown Pelican

MAINE

State Cat – Maine Coon Cat

State Bird – Chickadee

MARYLAND

State Cat – Calico Cat

State Dog – Chesapeake Bay Retriever

State Horse – Thoroughbred

State Bird – Baltimore Oriole

MASSACHUSETTS

State Dog – Boston Terrier

State Cat – Tabby Cat (Chosen in 1988 as the state cat mascot by school children)

State Horse – Morgan Horse

State Marine Mammal – Right Whale

State Bird – Chickadee

MICHIGAN

State Game Animal – White-tailed Deer

State Bird – Robin

MINNESOTA

State Bird – Common Loon

MISSISSIPPI

State Land Animals – White-tailed Deer and Red Fox

State Water Mammal – Bottle-nosed Dolphin

State Bird – Mockingbird

MISSOURI

State Animal – Missouri Mule

State Aquaric Animal – Paddlefish

State Horse – Missouri Fox-trotting Horse

State Bird – Bluebird

MONTANA

State Animal – Grizzly Bear

State Bird – Western Meadowlark

NEBRASKA

State Animal – White-tailed Deer

State Bird – Western Meadowlark

NEVADA

State Animal – Desert Big-horned Sheep

State Bird – Mountain Bluebird

NEW HAMPSHIRE

State Animal – White-tailed Deer

State Dog – Chinook

State Bird – Purple Finch

NEW JERSEY

State Animal – Horse

State Bird – Eastern Goldfinch

NEW MEXICO

State Animals – Jaguar, Black Bear

State Bird – Roadrunner

NEW YORK

State Animal – Beaver

State Bird – Bluebird

NORTH CAROLINA

State Dog – Plott Hound

State Mammal – Grey Squirrel

State Bird – Cardinal

NORTH DAKOTA

Honorary Equine – Nokota Horse

State Bird – Western Meadowlark

OHIO

State Animal – White-tailed Deer

State Bird – Cardinal

OKLAHOMA

State Animal – Buffalo

State Game Animal – White-tailed Deer

State Furbearer Animal – Raccoon

State Flying Mammal – Mexican Free-tailed Bat

State Bird – Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

OREGON

State Animal – Beaver

State Bird – Western Meadowlark

PENNSYLVANIA

State Animal – White-tailed Deer

State Dog – Great Dane

State Bird – Ruffed Grouse

RHODE ISLAND

State Bird – Rhode Island Red

SOUTH CAROLINA

State Animal – White-tailed Deer

State Dog – Boykin Spaniel

State Bird – Great Carolina Wren

SOUTH DAKOTA

State Animal – Coyote

State Bird – Ring-necked Pheasant

TENNESSEE

State Wild Animal – Raccoon

State Horse – Tennessee Walking Horse

State Bird – Mockingbird

TEXAS

State Dog – Blue Lacy

State Flying Mammal – Mexican Free-tailed Bat

State Large Mammal – Texas Longhorn

State Small Mammal – 9-banded Armadillo

UTAH

State Animal – Rocky Mountain Elk

State Bird – Common American Gull

VERMONT

State Horse – Morgan Horse

State American Fossil – White (Beluga) Whale

State Bird – Hermit Thrush

VIRGINIA

State Bat – Virginia Big-eared Bat

State Dog – American Foxhound

State Bird – Cardinal

WASHINGTON

State Marine Mammal – Orca Whale

State Bird – Willow Goldfinch

WEST VIRGINIA

State Animals – Black Bear, Virginia Oppossum

State Bird – Cardinal

WISCONSIN

State Animal – Badger

State Domestic Animal – Dairy Cow

State Wild Animal – White-tailed Deer

State Dog – American Water Spaniel

State Bird – Robin

WYOMING

State Mammal – Buffalo

State Bird – Western Meadowlark

The Horseshoe Crab and the Paddlefish are not mammals, but are designated by Delaware and Missouri as official State Animals.

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