Ohio State Bird

Which Bird Did the State of Ohio Choose as its Official State Bird?

The northern cardinal is the official state bird of the state of Ohio. The Ohio General Assembly chose the cardinal as the state bird back in 1933. Originally, you could not find many cardinals in the area that later became the state of Ohio. The European settlers who traveled to the Ohio area in the late 1600s did not find many cardinals. This is due to the fact that the Ohio territory was largely made up of forested areas.

However, cardinals started appearing in Ohio as the settlers began to clear the forests. The lack of forests provided the northern cardinals with a better habitat. Northern cardinals could be found all over the state of Ohio by the late 1800s due to this altered habitat.

Many Other States Chose the Northern Cardinal as their Official State Bird

The state of Ohio is not alone in choosing the northern cardinal as its official state bird. In fact, six other states chose the northern cardinal as their official state bird. These six states are Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, and Illinois. No other bird is the state bird of as many states as the northern cardinal.

What Are Some Facts about the Northern Cardinal?

The most notable characteristic of the northern cardinal is its color. Male northern cardinals are a scarlet red color and the female northern cardinals are brown but have reddish wings. However, the male and female northern cardinal do share some similarities. Both of them have a heavy bill, a pronounced crest, and a jet-black facial area.

The sounds that the northern cardinal makes are noteworthy, too. The northern cardinal produces a 'cheer cheer cheer' whistle in addition to a 'whit-chew whit-chew whistle'. Additionally, the northern cardinal also makes a whistle that sounds like 'purty purty purty'. The northern cardinal sings throughout most of the year.

Are the Northern Cardinals an Aggressive Bird?

The male northern cardinal is aggressive in the sense that it will fiercely defend its 4-acre territory. In fact, people have seen male Cardinals attack small red objects. This is because of the fact that the male cardinal mistakes them for other male northern cardinals.

The northern cardinal breeds between two and three times every season. The female creates the nest and takes care of the hatchlings for roughly 10 days. The male northern cardinal brings food for the hatchlings. The male then assumes responsibility for taking care of this first nest while the female lays another clutch of eggs in a new nest.

Ohio state bird
Northern cardinal
Scientific Name
Cardinalis cardinalis
Year Became Official