Maine State Bird and Flower

Author: Jason Coles

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State symbols are usually an adoption by a state derived from the collaborative efforts of citizens and students to make an item recognized as a symbol of importance and significance within the state, both past, and present.

In this instance, the Maine state bird and flower are the black-capped chickadee (Parus atricapillus) and the white pine cone (Pinus strobus, linnaeus).

States such as Maine and many others began to adopt some of their own official state symbols several decades ago, and in some cases, over 100 years ago. A state symbol can come in the form of state animals, birds, flowers, amphibians, dances, beverages, nicknames, state seals, and much more.

Citizens, children, and educational institutions often research a particular symbol and make a request for a bill, tracking it all the way through the legislative process with the hope that it is enacted and a new state symbol is announced for Maine.

What is the Maine State Bird?

The famous black-capped chickadee was adopted by the Legislature of 1927, which was the 130th Maine Legislature. These chickadees can be spotted all across the state, typically in the woods, forests, and backyards of many people’s homes. Something unique about them is that they do not migrate, unlike many birds that reside in North America.

They showcase a white and black head, with the black coloration being located on the top, resembling a cap. Their bodies are a silver color, with a beige belly, and their wings display a few different colored stripes – they truly are a sight to behold.

Social, happy, and energetic are but a few words to describe this bird. They only grow to around 5 inches (12.7 cm) in length, but they can be heard from miles away when displaying their unique call, “chick-a-dee,” which is where they get their name from. It is used as a warning call, contact, or general chatter amongst other birds.

They are omnivores, needing both plants and animals to achieve a healthy diet. Their favorite snacks are usually caterpillars, spiders, worms, seeds, and berries. Known for being great hiders and hoarders of food, they have been known to hide food within tree bark and leaves and remember where they put it for over a month.

When the black-capped chickadee finds a compatible pair, they remain together for a lifetime, with the female building the nest, typically in woodpecker cavities or backyard nesting boxes, whilst the male heads out looking for food to feed the female.

Once their clutch of 6 to 8 eggs has hatched, both the male and female chickadee will take turns feeding the babies.

What is the Maine State Flower?

The white pine cone (Pinus strobus, linnaeus) has been the official Maine state floral emblem since 1895, making it one of the oldest Maine state symbols. The white pine is the state tree of Maine and is also the largest conifer in the northeastern region of the U.S.

This famous symbol can also be found on the state seal, state flag, and state quarter for Maine. The adoption of this symbol came via the “National Garland of Flowers” at the World’s Fair, which took place in 1893. The garland of flowers event consisted of the individual state flowers that represented each state and its legislatures.

Originally, there were three candidates for the role of state floral emblem; the goldenrod, apple blossom, and pine cone. Despite the pine cone and tassel not being a flower, the people voted for it anyway due to the historical significance it holds within the state.

White pine cones and tassels are technically not flowers at all, they are gymnosperm, which produces seeds without producing flowers.

Something else people might not know about is that there are male and female pine cones, with the males being smaller, falling off the tree after pollination, and the females grow much larger after being pollinated and will take considerably longer to reach full maturity and eventually fall off.

Final Thoughts

Most states will have their symbols showcase a relevant story that is indicative of the state and its history, and the Pine Tree State puts its history and what it stands for across very well in its state bird and flower.

These interesting facts about Maine and a whole host of others are what makes the state so unique and fascinating to those that live there, those that are planning to visit, or those that are researching the historical events of the state and what they symbolize.

US State Symbols


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Jason Coles

Jason Coles is the Founder of Foreign USA and its Chief Content Writer and Editor. Recognized as a prolific business plan writer by many prominent immigration attorneys in the U.S. who refer his services to their clients regularly, Jason has written over 1,360 business plans across the past 17+ years for start-up companies and franchises looking to expand their footprint in the United States. Jason is considered a seasoned expert in his field. He creates detailed business plans for his clients that include five-year financial projections, market and industry analysis reports, demographic studies, organizational charts, job descriptions, employee hiring plans, and more.