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What is Georgia’s State Bird? How Was It Decided?

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Brown Thrasher

Georgia is a state known for many things—its peaches, peanuts, pecans, and subtropical climate, but what you probably don’t know about Georgia is its state bird.

Georgia’s state bird is the Brown Thrasher. 

Below, we’ll tell you the 42-year-long journey that led to the Brown Thrasher becoming the official state bird of Georgia.

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What is The Brown Thrasher?

The Brown Thrasher, scientifically known as the Toxostoma rufum, is a brown and white bird. It has a long-curved bill and a spotted belly. They measure 9.3 to 12 inches with a wingspan of 11 to 13 inches and an average weight of 2.4 oz.

The Brown Thrasher lives from southeastern Canada down to southeastern America and into Central America. They are the only breed of Thrasher to live in Texas and The Rocky Mountains.

They find themselves on the ground more often than in the air, preferring running and hopping to flight, and they eat a diet of mostly insects and some fruits, nuts, and seeds.

Brown Thrasher
Image Credit: GeorgiaLens, Pixabay

When Did the Brown Thrasher Become Georgia’s State Bird?

The idea of the Brown Thrasher as the state bird first came up in 1928 when a group of school children voted for the bird as their choice for state bird. However, it wasn’t until 1935 that Eugene Talmadge, the governor of Georgia, proclaimed the Brown Thrasher as the Georgia State bird. This, however, was not the end.

The Brown Thrasher would finally become the official state bird 35 years later, on March 20th, 1970.

The main obstacle to the Brown Thrasher becoming the official Georgia state bird was the Northern Bobwhite, a type of Quail many Georgians believed should be the state bird. The problem with the Northern Bobwhite was it was often hunted for food, and many didn’t want a bird that Georgians commonly ate to be the state bird.

A compromise was made on March 20th, 1970, and the Northern Bobwhite was declared the official Georgia state game bird.

Brown Thrasher
Image By: Bernell, Pixabay

Why was the Brown Thrasher Chosen as the State Bird?

Now that you know what and how you’re probably wondering why the Brown Thrasher was chosen in the first place. Well, it isn’t exactly known why the Brown Thrasher was chosen.

It’s commonly believed that it was because of the bird’s beautiful song. The Brown Thrasher can make over 1,100 unique sounds. It commonly sings one phrase twice and then moves on to a new sound.hummingbird divider

Final Thoughts

Now you know the state bird of Georgia and the long journey it took to become the state bird.

So, the next time you look out your window and see a Brown Thrasher sitting on the bird feeder, you’ll know it’s the state bird of Georgia and look at it with pride.

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Featured Image Credit: milesmoody, Pixabay

About the Author Patricia Dickson

Patricia is an animal and coffee writer and a published author under the pen name Skylar McKinzie. When she isn’t writing, Patricia enjoys spending time with her two cats and dog. Since she was a young child, she has been a pet lover and enjoys nothing more than cuddling with her pets. Patricia loves sharing her knowledge of animals and finds joy in helping out at the local rescue shelter whenever she can.