What is it with cardinals and mockingbirds? It would seem the guys (most likely) doing the choosing were peeking at their neighbor’s paper because there’s a shocking lack of originality with so many better options to choose from.
That’s where Slate’s Nicholas Lund comes in, offering up some much needed commentary on this sorry state of affairs.
If hot-button political issues aren’t your thing, then this is the way to prove you’re still a civic-minded citizen with a cause close to your heart…or at least a very loud voice and desperate need for something to do.
Alabama. Official state bird: yellowhammer
Right out of the gate with this thing. Yellowhammer? C’mon. I Asked Jeeves and it told me that Yellowhammer is some backwoods name for a yellow-shafted flicker. The origin story dates to the Civil War, when some Alabama troops wore yellow-trimmed uniforms. Sorry, but that’s dumb, mostly because it’s just a coincidence and has nothing to do with the actual bird. If you want a woodpecker, go for something with a little more cachet, something that’s at least a full species.
What it should be: red-cockaded woodpecker
Connecticut. Official state bird: American robin
Look, this isn’t even that hard. American robin is American, not special to Connecticut at all. Is there perhaps another choice? One that inspires some more local pride?
What it should be: Connecticut warbler
Florida. Official state bird: northern mockingbird
I am finishing this post the next day because I had to go buy a new computer after I threw my last one out the window when I read that Florida’s state bird was the northern mockingbird. I cannot think of a more pathetic choice for one of the most bird-rich states in the nation. What’s their state beverage, a half-glass of warm tap water?
What it should be: American flamingo