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What Is New Hampshire’s State Bird? How Was It Decided?

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purple finch

The state bird of New Hampshire is the Purple Finch. This bird has been the official state bird ever since 1957. Even though this bird has been the state bird for a long time, it ran into a lot of opposition whenever it was first proposed.

To learn more about the Purple Finch, keep reading. This article tells the story of how the Purple Finch became the state bird and more.

What Is New Hampshire’s State Bird?

The Purple Finch is the official state bird of New Hampshire and has been since 1957 when it overtook the New Hampshire Hen as the state bird. Though there was some competition concerning the Purple Finch’s role as the state bird, most New Hampshire residents today are happy with the final decision.

Purple Finch

Image Credit: Sirgalahaddave, Pixabay

How Was the Purple Finch Decided?

The New Hampshire Hen was originally the state bird of New Hampshire. However, representative Robert S. Monahan sponsored a Purple Finch Bill in 1957 that would make the bird the official state bird of New Hampshire.

This bill was filed to the House of Representatives on February 12th, 1957. This bill had the support of many important societies, including the State Federation of Women’s Clubs, the New Hampshire Federation of Garden Clubs, and the Audubon Society of New Hampshire.

Despite the important backing, the bill ran into pretty stiff opposition right off the bat. Representative Doris M. Spollett sponsored the New Hampshire Hen as being the state bird. Even so, Monahan got quick approval for the Purple Finch.

On March 27th, 1957, the bill became an issue of public hearing at the House Committee on Recreation, Resources, and Development. There, the committee voted in favor of the finch. Shortly after that, Governor Lane Dwinell signed the Purple Finch as being the state bird into law on April 25th, 1957. Since then, the Purple Finch has remained the state bird of New Hampshire.

judge work in the office with judge gavel

Image Credit: PaeGAG, Shutterstock

About the Purple Finch

The Purple Finch is a stunning bird loved by everyone, though the name “Purple Finch” is a bit misleading. It is not purple at all. Instead, it has a rose color that is tough to miss. These birds are mostly in competition with other Finch species and House Sparrows.

The Purple Finch is a small finch that is popular in North America. It can be found in the Eastern United States, certain parts of the Western United States, and some parts of Canada. Purple Finches are most likely to be seen in woody areas, though they aren’t afraid to visit bird feeders either.

In New Hampshire specifically, the Purple Finch is pretty common during all seasons. So, you can expect to see them in spring, summer, fall, and winter. They aren’t likely to leave New Hampshire for migration or breeding.

male purple finch perching

Image Credit: Paul Reeves Photography, Shutterstock

Final Thoughts

The New Hampshire state bird is the Purple Finch. The Purple Finch has been the official state bird for decades after it beat out the New Hampshire Hen in 1957. Even though there was some debate regarding the Purple Finch initially, most representatives and citizens quickly voted in favor of the small bird.

If you are a birdwatcher, note that the Purple Finch is not actually purple. Instead, it is a rich rose color. You can find Purple Finches practically anywhere, but they love wooded areas where they have tons of access to protection, seeds, and food. In New Hampshire, you can expect to find them year round.


Featured Image Credit: gregg williams, Shutterstock

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.

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