The Political Cardinal
The Cardinal was chosen as the state bird for these seven states: Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia. According to the Illinois State Museum, In 1928 an election was held between five birds for the honor of being named “State Bird of Illinois”. The Macomb Branch of the National Federation of Professional Women’s Clubs arranged for schoolchildren in Illinois to place votes on five of the most commonly seen birds in their area. The Cardinal won with 39,226 votes which was 8,920 votes more than the number his rival, the Bluebird, received. The Bluebird was honorable enough to concede the election and not ask for a re-count.