House bill

House bill seeks to give ‘firebird’ title Michigan state bird

American Robins have been our state bird since 1931, but a few Michigan officials are hoping to change it – to a Kirtland warbler.

Michigan has the same state bird as Connecticut and Wisconsin.

Rep. Greg Markkanen, R-Hancock, introduced a bill to make the Kirtland’s warbler Michigan’s official state bird. This bill was introduced last month on September 21 and is supported by Representatives Ken Borton, Jack O’Malley, Daire Rendon, Sue Allor, Gary Howell, William Sowerby, David LaGrand, Sara Cambensy and Andrew Fink.

Kirtland’s warbler, also known as jack pine bird or jack pine warbler, was recently removed from the list of protected species as it was listed as endangered for more than half a century .

As of June 2021, there were around 2,245 pairs of the once-endangered bird. Michigan DNR stated that the population size is more than doubled compared to the recovery goal for the species.

Bird enthusiasts say the bird is special to the state of Michigan. According to the DNR, the birds have boosted tourism in the five-county section of rural northern Michigan that has the highest numbers, attracting birdwatchers from around the world.

Click here to learn more about guided tours.

Below is a document from Kirtland Warbler Alliance stating 10 reasons why the Kirtland’s warbler should be Michigan’s state bird.

Read more: Once Nearly Extinct, Michigan Songbird Moves Off Endangered Species List

For more on “The Firebird,” watch the Michigan DNR video below:

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