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State Birds of the US

State Birds of the US

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State birds of the US - a hand-painted map

  • An original painting in watercolour, size 730mm x 520mm on 600gsm cotton rag paper
  • A2 size signed poster prints
  • Digital file for you to make a single print at a format and size of your choice
  • I also have this as a greetings card

Every US state has a 'totemic' state bird, state flower, state mammal, and so on. They are often proudly displayed on the state's flag and insignia. Here in the UK we don't even have a national bird, let alone regional ones!

Popular birds

The most popular state bird is the Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis), the chosen bird of seven states Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. Rather than paint it seven times, I have painted it twice, a female and a male, overlapping it into its adopted states.

It's a similar story for the gorgeous Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta). Six states have this yellow-breasted beauty: Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Oregon, and Wyoming. But I have painted it only three times doing various things - singing, flying, perching handsomely - again overlapping it into its home states.

Also very popular is the Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos). I wouldn't mindbetting this is due to their natural curiosity and their amazing singing skills. Their latin name translates to 'many-tongued mimic'. Five states - Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas - favour this bird.

The American robin (Turdus migratorius) is state bird of three states: Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin. And the American goldfinch (Spinus tristis) is the chosen emblem of Iowa, New Jersey, and Washington.

I applaud Oklahoma for loving the scissor-tailed flycatcher. I once was thrilled to see one of these perched on the airport perimeter fence at Belize City. And hats off to Alabama for choosing the spectacular Northern flicker. I'm a such a fool a woodpecker! But the wonder to me is that no US state chose a hummingbird!

John James Audubon

At the foot of the painting, floating in the Gulf of Mexico you'll see a little cartouche of John James Audubon who will be familiar to US readers, but perhaps not so for those outside the US.

Audubon was a pioneering naturalist, field scientist, and has gone down in history as the finest illustrator of birds the world will (surely?) ever see. He is author and illustrator of the Birds of America, the most expensive and exquisite book in the world, and gives his name to the Audubon Society, an American non-profit conservation organization.

Passenger pigeon

The passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) was once the most numerous bird on the planet. I've sneaked in a couple of them just to the right of the banner at the top of the painting. I have deliberately left them unlabelled. They lived in vast flocks which ranging across the forests of the eastern US. At its maximum there were maybe 3 to 5 billion birds!

But in the course of just 100 years it became extinct, due to reckless hunting, nobody caring, and devastating habitat loss through deforestation. The story of the rapid decline and extinction of this gorgeous bird haunts me. If a species as numerous as this can so easily be wiped out we cannot be complacent about any species.

For a full list of US state birds paintings go here.

Shipping and delivery

This website takes orders from UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Denmark, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

If you are not in these countries and you would like to make a purchase, please get in touch with me directly.

Posting your order

Typically, orders for physical products placed after 12pm on Friday, and on Saturday or Sunday will not be posted until Monday at the earliest. I use Royal Mail to dispatch your order.

If you have ordered multiple items, I will try to post everything together. Occasionally, this is not possible, in which case they will be dispatched in separate packages.

Digital files will typically be transferred to customers within 24 hours via email using WeTransfer, the file transfer website.

Buying an original painting? Please choose the tracked option!

UNITED KINGDOM (incl. Channel Islands, Isle of Man)

  • UK Royal Mail second class – 3 to 5 working days (can be longer at busy times of year)
  • UK Royal Mail tracked next day special delivery – next day by 1pm

If you choose a tracked delivery, I will be notified with your Royal Mail tracking number when your parcel has been dispatched.


IMPORTANT! All international orders are shipped duties unpaid. Orders shipped outside of the UK may be subject to customs, taxes and duties. This cost is the responsibility of the customer and is payable on receipt of goods. Please check your local customs tax and duty costs as duties must be paid before the goods are released.

Royal Mail International Tracked service (7-14 days)

Royal Mail International Tracked service (7-14 days)

EUROPE (Rep of Ireland, France, Germany and Denmark only)
Royal Mail International Tracked service (7-14 days)

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