West Virginia State Bird

What Is the State Bird of West Virginia?

The state bird of the state of West Virginia is the northern cardinal. The state of West Virginia chose the northern cardinal as its official state bird in 1949. The state of West Virginia did so via House Resolution 12, which passed on March 12, 1949. However, West Virginia is not the only state that selected the northern cardinal as its state bird.

In fact, a total of seven states chose the northern cardinal as their official state bird. The other six states that picked the northern cardinal as their state bird are Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina, and Illinois. West Virginia got support from bird study groups, garden clubs, college students, and others in choosing the northern cardinal. The northern cardinal competed with ten other birds but won the contest convincingly.

Where Do The Northern Cardinals Live?

Northern cardinals are native to quite a large area of North and Central America. You can find them in the southeast part of Canada as well as in eastern US states such as Maine, Texas, and Minnesota. They are also native to the state of New Mexico and they have been introduced to the southern part of the state of Arizona, as well.

However, the northern cardinal has been introduced to southern California and some other countries in North and Central America. You can find native northern cardinals in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. People have introduced northern cardinals to other places as well, such as the state of Hawaii and Bermuda. Wetlands, shrublands, gardens, and woodlands are all part of its natural habitat.

What Do The Northern Cardinals Eat?

The northern cardinal primarily eats fruits, grains, and weed seeds. In fact, a total of 90% of its diet is made up of these foods. However, the northern cardinal will also eat insects and snails, as well. Grasshoppers, cicadas, and beetles are some of the insects that the northern cardinal eats on a regular basis. The northern cardinal primarily feeds its young with insects.

What Are Some of the Northern Cardinal's Predators?

The northern cardinal has quite a few native predators. These include golden eagles, bald eagles, shrikes, falcons, and all of the hawks in the Accipiter genus. However, some owls prey on the northern cardinal, as well. Eastern screech owls and long-eared owls also prey on the northern cardinal. Crows, blue jays, milk snakes, and eastern chipmunks will prey on the northern cardinal's eggs and the northern cardinal's young.

West Virginia state bird
Northern cardinal
Scientific Name
Cardinalis cardinalis
Year Became Official

West Virginia State Bird