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Does Long Island Have An Official Bird?


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Does Long Island Have An Official Bird?
Photo: Ken Thomas/wikimedia

Eastern Bluebird

Photo: Ken Thomas/wikimedia
Each of the 50 states in the U.S. has its own official bird. As part of New York State, Long Island's official bird is the Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis). With its striking color combination of royal blue plumage on their wings, back and head, a reddish-brown-tinged chest, white belly, and short black bill, these beautiful birds can be found across the eastern part of North America and as far south as Central America. (The female of the species has a more grayish cast to these same colors.)

You can see some of these lovely Eastern Bluebirds in tall trees, nest boxes or in open meadows and woodlands where sparse vegetation grows. Their nests are made from twigs, pine needles, the stems of weeds and grass. They sometimes nest in holes in trees that have been created by woodpeckers and then abandoned, or in natural cavities found in trees.

They're often found perched on fences or wires. While flying, these delightful birds send out a constant stream of their chirpy music. (You can hear the song of the Eastern Bluebird at www.flmnh.ufl.edu/wwwsounds/birds/hardy63sh.wav. Their favorite meals consist of insects, spiders and worms. During winter's chilly weather, the birds' menu of choice is predominantly seeds and berries.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey's Longevity Records of North American Birds, the oldest recorded age of an Eastern Bluebird was 10 years and 6 months.

In addition to the New York State official bird, Nassau County also has its very own designated avian species. Please see the next page to find out more about this.

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