Utah is the only state with a state bird named for another state. Equally strange, gulls are normally associated with the sea, while landlocked Utah is one of the most arid states.
The story gets even stranger, because Utahns may have adopted the wrong bird. Some authorities say the bird that supposedly rescued early settlers from a plague of locusts, crickets, or some kind of insects was another species. The story is related in My State Symbols Book.
One final irony: Crickets and grasshoppers were a primary food source for Native Americans who lived in the area. Can you imagine Mormon settlers starving to death in the middle of a feast?
In 2022, the golden eagle was named Utah’s official bird of prey.