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Michigan's State Bird Battle

It’s a featherweight match with an official title at stake: Michigan State Bird
© Matt Ward View Large

Since 1929, Michigan’s state bird has been the American Robin. But lots of people think it’s time for a change. The Black-capped Chickadee is a popular favorite, as is the endangered Kirtland’s Warbler. But it turns out that it’s pretty hard to get a state bird changed.

Full Transcript



Michigan’s State Bird Battle

Written by Bob Sundstrom

[crowd sound]


[ding ding ding]

[crowd roar]

Feathers have been flying in Michigan. It’s a three-way melee, pitting robin against chickadee against warbler. A featherweight match with an official title at stake: Michigan’s State Bird.


In this corner, the American Robin. Michigan’s state bird since 1929, when it beat the Black-capped Chickadee in a neck-and-neck contest decided by the judges - of the state Audubon Society.

And in this corner, our contender, back to fight for the title, the Black-capped Chickadeeeeeeeee!.


Unlike the robin the Black-capped Chickadee stays in Michigan all. year. long. There’s no flying south for this snow bird. Back in 2000, a campaign to dethrone the robin fell just short.

[crowd - sudden building cheer]

But what’s this? A new challenger appears!

It’s the Kirtland’s Warbler! Until recently, due to deforestation, these little birds only bred in Michigan. But now they’re increasing.

[ding ding ding]

The winner, and still champion the robin. He’s harder to beat than he looks. Just ask Wisconsin. Or Connecticut. The robin’s their official state bird, too.

For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.


Producer: John Kessler

Managing Producer: Jason Saul

Editor: Ashley Ahearn

Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone

Assistant Producer: Mark Bramhill

Narrator: Michael Stein

© 2019 BirdNote   December 2019

statebird-03-2019-08-13    statebird-03


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