Minnesota State Bird
Adoption of the Minnesota State Bird
The Minnesota Federation of Women's Clubs adopted the American goldfinch as their club bird and, in 1926, campaigned to have the goldfinch named as the Minnesota state bird.
It's not clear that the goldfinch ever achieved status as the state bird of Minnesota. One may assume that it did not or that it was not adopted by an act of the legislature because, in 1947, the goldfinch was again suggested as a candidate. Elizabeth M. Bachmann, of the Minnesota Department of Conservation, wrote in her 1961 article, Minnesota's New State Bird: The Loon, "For years, the little goldfinch was considered the unofficial state bird of Minnesota."
Other birds vied for the position of official state bird as well. The list included the mourning dove (1951), the pileated woodpecker (1951 and 1953), the scarlet tanager (1951) and the wood duck.
On January 17, 1961, House Bill No. 79 was introduced proposing that the common loon (Gavia immer) be adopted as the official state bird of Minnesota. It was approved by the Minnesota House of Representatives on February 18, 1961. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate. Senate Bill No. 843, was introduced shortly after the House vote on February 28, 1961. It was approved by the Senate on March 7, 1961.
On March 13, 1961, Governor Elmer L. Andersen signed the legislation that adopted the common loon (Gavia immer) the official state bird of the State of Minnesota.
The Minnesota Statutes
The following information is excerpted from the Minnesota Statutes, Jurisdiction, Civil Divisions, Chapter 1, Section 1.145.
JURISDICTION, CIVIL DIVISIONS.
Subdivision 1. Loon. The loon, Gavia immer, is the official bird of the state of Minnesota.
Subd. 2. Photograph. A photograph of the loon shall be preserved in the Office of the Secretary of State.
HIST: 1961 c 76 s 1,2; 1984 c 628 art 1 s 1
Gavia immer (Common Loon): University of Michigan Museum of Zoology: Animal Diversity Web.
State Bird List: List of all of the state birds.
Loon photographs and prints: Beautiful photographs and prints of loons and their offspring.
Birds of Minnesota Field Guide, Second Edition: by Stan Tekiela. 292 pages, Adventure Publications; 2 edition (July 1, 2004)
A Birder's Guide to Minnesota, 4th edition: by Kim Richard Eckert. 258 pages, Gavian Guides (May 20, 2002)
State Birds & Flowers 1000-pc Puzzle: Created at the request of The National Wildlife Federation this design is a beautiful and informative puzzle featuring every state bird perched on the appropriate state flower.
Fascinating Loons: Amazing Images & Behaviors, by Stan Tekiela, Adventure Publications (June 26, 2006).
Sounds of the Earth: Loons, Audio CD (March 8, 2005) Original Release Date: March 8, 2005, Number of Discs: 1, Oreade Music. Loon calls from beginning to end and water lapping against the shore, other birds in the background. Nature Sounds only - no human voices, no cars, dogs barking or planes and NO music.
Bird Feeders and Accessories: Backyard Birding > Bird Feeders & Accessories from Amazon.com.
State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide, Third Edition - Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Greenwood Press, 2002
State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers and Other Symbols: A Study based on historical documents giving the origin and significance of the state names, nicknames, mottoes, seals, flowers, birds, songs, and descriptive comments on the capitol buildings and on some of the leading state histories, Revised Edition - George Earlie Shankle, Ph.D., The H.W. Wilson Company, 1938 (Reprint Services Corp. 1971)
Source: Minnesota Statutes, (http://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/statutes.asp), April 10, 2005
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