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What Is Nevada’s State Bird? How Was It Decided?

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blue bird perching

The Nevada State bird is the Sialia Currucoides, or Mountain Bluebird, a medium-sized bird that you can easily find in the western United States. If you are interested in learning more about these attractive birds and how they became the state bird, keep reading as we dive into this topic to help you find these answers and more.

What Is Nevada’s State Bird?

The state bird of Nevada is the Mountain Bluebird. The Nevada Federation of Women’s Clubs, taking a vote of citizens and school children, nominated it the state bird between 1930 and 1931. In 1967, a bill was finally introduced to make the Mountain Bluebird the state bird, and it was signed into law by the governor on April 4th, 1967, making it official. Idaho has also named the Mountain Bluebird as its state bird.

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Image Credit: PaeGAG, Shutterstock

What Does the Mountain Bluebird Look Like?

Many call the Mountain Bluebird “the bluest of the bluebirds” because its plumage is primarily pure blue feathers except for a small white patch around the rump and tail feathers. However, the females are less colorful, with heads and backs that usually have grayish-brown feathers and resemble the more common Eastern and Western Bluebird. The Mountain Bluebird is typically 6 to 7 inches long from head to tail and has a wingspan of 11–14 inches.

Distribution and Habitat of the Mountain Bluebird

The Mountain Bluebird is quite popular and easy to find anywhere in Nevada, but you can also find it as far south as Mexico and north as Alaska. It tends to breed in the northern states and Canada because it prefers the cooler air but will remain in the south during non-breeding seasons, especially if it can find a tall mountain.

mountain bluebird

Image Credit: Danita Delimont, Shutterstock

Why Is the Mountain Bluebird Protected?

The state and the federal government gave the Mountain Bluebird a protected status because heavy pesticide use caused these important birds to lose many natural nesting sites, resulting in a steep population decline. Also, fewer old trees remain due to fire and construction, putting additional strain on the bird’s nesting sites.

How Do I Find a Mountain Bluebird?

Despite a wide range that takes them down to Mexico, these birds prefer cooler air and often set up their nesting sites high above sea level. We recommend looking for these birds at an elevation above 5,000 feet. 12,000 ft is even better during the summer or in warmer areas. You might find them in Nevada valleys during the winter, but they prefer the mountains.

Mountain Bluebird

Credit: Double Brow Imagery, Shutterstock

 

Summary

The Nevada state bird is the Mountain Bluebird. Citizens and school children voted on it in 1930 and 1931, and a bill signed by the governor made it official in 1967. It’s one of the bluest varieties of bluebirds, and it lives year-round in Nevada. You can also find it all over the western United States, up into Canada and Alaska, and as far south as Mexico. Your best chance of finding one of these birds is to look in the mountains; the higher you go, the more likely you will see one.


Featured Image Credit: SoFlo Shots, Shutterstock

About the Author Ed Malaker

Ed Malaker is a veteran writer who contributes to a wide range of blogs covering information on computer programming, pets, birding, tools, fitness, guitars, and optics. Outside of writing, Ed is often found working in the garden or performing DIY projects in the house. Ed is also a musician, spending his time composing music for independent films or helping people repair their guitars.

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