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Oregon State Bird: Does Anyone Really Care?

April 28, 2017

For the last couple of weeks my office has received hundreds of emails concerned about changing the “State Bird” from the Meadowlark to the Osprey.  Now I have to tell you the truth, I could really care less about the “State ______” whatever item you want to insert in that blank line.  My staff and I were perusing the Oregon Blue Book yesterday and looking at all of the “Official State ______” items.  Did you know we have an “official State”:

Animal – The Beaver

Beverage – Milk

Crustacean – Dungeness Crab

Dance – Square Dance

Fish – Chinook Salmon

Umm..I’ll stop there.  You get the idea.  The interesting thing is, each of those I listed are “official” because a legislative session at some point had a resolution to make the item “official”.  That brings me back to the “State Bird”.

The Western Meadlowlark was chosen the Oregon state bird in 1927 by the Oregon Audubon Society’s poll of Oregon school children.  But no legislative session actually made it “official” so in theory, it’s NOT the “State Bird” by statute.

SCR 18 (see bill HERE) would make the Osprey the official “State Bird” and as I mentioned, it’s brought a LOT of controversy.  Now again, I don’t care one whit about which bird is “official” but I do think we should honor those school children in 1927 and leave the Meadowlark alone.  If we won’t to codify it, let’s run a resolution to do so….then again, do we REALLY need an “official State ___________ (anything)”?

This editorial today does a great job of summarizing this mess: READ HERE

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