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The Bluebird, (Sialia sialis,) was adopted as New York official state bird in 1970.
The American robin was first selected as the state bird of New York, but a campaign by Mrs. Charles Cyrus Marshall, President of the New York Federated Women's Clubs, in 1927 and 1928 had determined that the bluebird was a more popular.
It took over forty years however to adopt the bluebird as the official state bird of New York. The legislation adopting the bluebird as the official state bird was signed by Governor Nelson Rockefeller on May 18, 1970.
are medium-sized, mostly insectivorous or omnivorous birds in the genus Sialia of the thrush family Turdidae.
As the name implies, these are attractive birds with blue, or blue and red, plumage. Female birds are less brightly colored than males, although color patterns are similar and there is no noticeable difference in size between sexes.
The Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) is a small bird found in open woodlands, farmlands, and orchards.
Once common throughout the Northeast, the bluebird fell prey to changing land use practices. Until the 1920s, the countryside was a patchwork of
small farms with apple orchards and fields separated by overgrown fencerows. Bluebirds nested in holes in fence posts or apple trees and patrolled
orchards, fields and gardens for insect food. A great many of these small unprofitable farms were abandoned when their tenants abandoned the land for
jobs in the cities. Fence posts rotted and field gave way to trees - inhospitable to bluebirds.
In more recent years, the bluebird has staged a comeback largely due to efforts of the North American Bluebird Society and its state and local affiliates. Together, these organizations and other concerned individuals have waged an educational campaign about the bluebird, encouraging the proper construction, placement and care of nesting boxes. The result is that the bluebird once again graces open spaces and its beautiful plumage and sweet song are enjoyed across the Northeast.
A Rumor in the Air: The Story of the New York State Bird
by Eugene Kinkead
New York, the aggressive forerunner in so many ways, was the last state in the Union to acquire an official state bird, and it was not until May 18, 1970, that Governor Rockefeller signed a bill elevating the eastern blurbird, (Sialia sialis,) to a select group of twenty-nine species representing the fourty-nine states. Seven eastern states share the cardinal, the bird most heavily favored; six western states have the meadowlark; and five in dixie claim the mockingbird. New York shares the eastern bluebird with Missouri. A second bluebird, the mountain bluebird, is the choice of another pair of states - Idaho and Nevada. There is no confusing the two birds, however. The eastern bluebird is a lowland dweller with a reddish breast and a cheery warble, while the mountain bluebird stays at altitudes greater than a mile and is, except at dawn, a remarkably silent creature. Read More
The law designating the bluebird as the official New York state bird is Section 78 of the New York State Consolidated Laws, STL - State, Article 6 (ARMS AND GREAT SEAL OF STATE) Section 78.
STL - State.
Article 6 - ARMS AND GREAT SEAL OF STATE.
§ 78. State bird. The bluebird (Sialia Sialis) shall be the official bird of the state of New York.
Taxonomic Hierarchy: Eastern Bluebird
Kingdom: Animalia - animals
Phylum: Chordata - chordates
Subphylum: Vertebrata - vertebrates
Class: Aves - birds
Order: Passeriformes - perching birds
Family: Muscicapidae - old world flycatchers
Genus: Sialia Swainson, 1827 - bluebirds
Species: Sialia sialis ---- eastern bluebird