Michigan designated "robin redbreast" (American robin) as the official state bird in 1931 after an election held by the Michigan Audubon Society.
The legislation noted that "the robin redbreast is the best known and best loved of all the birds in the state of Michigan." The American robin (Turdus migratorius) is also the state bird of Connecticut and Wisconsin.
Robins were named by early settlers after the familiar robin red-breast of Europe (a bird with similar markings that is not closely related to the American Robin). The most widespread thrush in North America (because of its adaptation to human-modified habitats), robins are a familiar backyard bird often observed pulling up earthworms on suburban lawns. The American robin has many vocalizations - rich songs composed of long phrases and "whinny" and "tut" calls. The female is muted in color compared to the male.
Children Lobby for New State Bird Symbol
The robin's claim to the title of official state bird of Michigan has come under fire from a group of 3rd, 4th, & 5th graders. They arrived at the state capital in 2003 to lobby for the Kirtland's Warbler as the state bird of Michigan. Some of their reasons: the Kirtland's Warbler nests exclusively in Michigan, it is the rarest warbler in North America, and has recovered from near-extinction (expected to be removed from endangered species list soon) thanks to conservation efforts to preserve their only habitat; Michigan's Jack Pine Barrens.