North Carolina designated the northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) as official state bird in 1943. One of America's favorite backyard birds, cardinals are distinctive in appearance and song - known for their "cheer cheer cheer," "whit-chew whit-chew" and "purty purty purty" whistles.

The northern cardinal seems to be loved by people from different states more than any other bird: Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina have it as the state bird. It was also a candidate to become the state bird of Delaware, but, unfortunately, lost to the Delaware Blue Hen. But we would cheer for the northern cardinal!

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