New York State Bird
Adoption of the New York State Bird
The robin red breast or American robin was initially 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 determined that the bluebird was 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.
About the New York State Bird
Under natural conditions, eastern bluebirds prefer to use cavities in savannah-like habitats east of the Great Plains (Rustad 1972). They are an edge species and therefore do not live in dense woods or in closely built residential sections of town (Thomas 1946). Like purple martins, bluebirds have taken advantage of nest boxes provided in areas around farms, near open fields, and in orchards.
Eastern bluebird nesting sites (snags) are often eliminated because of their unsightliness or interference with cultivation. When available, eastern bluebirds nest in old woodpecker holes, hollows of decayed trees, and crevices of rocks (Pearson 1936). They will readily take to hollows in wooden fence posts or correctly sized and placed nest boxes (5 x 5 x 8 inches high with a 1.5-inch hole located 6 inches from the bottom). Boxes should be placed 5 to 10 feet above the ground at the edge of a forest opening or field.
Eastern bluebirds consume 70 percent animal matter and 30 percent vegetable matter. Vegetable intake increases to more than 50 percent in December and January, but is completely lacking in May. Animal matter includes grasshoppers, crickets and katydids, various coleoptera, moths and caterpillars, some hymenoptera and hemiptera, as well as various other invertebrates and small vertebrates. Vegetable matter is mostly wild fruits (Bent 1949).
New York State Consolidated Laws
The following information is excerpted from the New York State Consolidated Laws, State, Article 6, Section 78.
STL - State.
Sialia sialis (Eastern Bluebird): University of Michigan Museum of Zoology: Animal Diversity Web.
State Bird List: List of all of the state birds.
Birds Of New York: Field Guide: by Stan Tekiela.
Bull's Birds of New York State: by Emanuel Levine (Editor).
The New York City Audubon Society Guide to Finding Birds in the Metropolitan Area: by Marcia T. Fowle and Paul Kerlinger.
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.
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: Laws of New York, (http://public.leginfo.state.ny.us/menugetf.cgi), April 12, 2005
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