Ode to the Great Blue Heron
I've started a quiet movement to have the Great Blue Heron replace the Cardinal for Indiana's state bird. That way we wouldn't have to share our state bird with other states. The Great Blue Heron is positively majestic and beautiful in its own right. It has an elegant and distinct pattern to its flight and is mostly a solitary bird.
The Great Blue's habitat of wetlands and streams represents what much of Indiana used to look like. I can imagine the Kankakee marsh once being full of heron rookeries with these large birds flying in and out of dead tree tops. We once had a heron rookery near our town; it was in a state protected wetlands. Our county got the idea that we should put a road through the wetlands and the state acquiesced. The rookery is gone. Sad testament to a species once found on Indiana's list of "special concern" animals and all too ironic.
I have thoughts about our state tree too, but will save it for another time. Meanwhile, check out our state's endangered species list at