The cardinal is the most popular state bird, representing seven states. However, Kentucky was the first to adopt the “Kentucky cardinal,” as it has been called, in 1926.
Some Kentuckians might even view the cardinal as a political symbol; a replica of a cardinal appears at the top of flagstaffs carrying the state flag.
There has been at least one attempt to name the mallard Kentucky’s official waterfowl. Even if it gets adopted some day, it’s a good bet we’ll never see a duck on Kentucky flag poles.