Days Gone By - stories from the past

Which day is the official bird day in Alabama?

A few months back I wrote an article stating May 4 was the date the State of Alabama adopted formally adopted as bird day in Alabama. However, this date may be incorrect because I ran across the following newspaper excerpt from the Florence, Alabama, Times Daily Feb. 18, 1930. The article is transcribed below:

The Yellowhammer – Alabama State Bird

“Montgomery, Feb. 18 – (Spl.)

Gov. Graves (Gov. Bibb Graves) in an official proclamation has designated Friday, March 14, as Bird day in Alabama. In announcing the proclamation, the governor pointed to the increased conservation of wildlife in Alabama which he recognized as a valuable asset to the state’s natural resources.

“Progress develops nobler sentiments toward nature,” the governor said. “Just as the passage of time and the increase of knowledge demand improved housing and industrial conditions, so also they demand greater conservation of our wildlife natural resources. These resources add to our economic prosperity and to our pleasure. They develop in us a more profound sense of the infinite.”

“Because of the value of birds there originated in this state 22 years ago, a beautiful and useful custom of setting aside one day of the year for the study of our feathered friends throughout the state. In accordance with this custom, I hereby proclaim Friday, as Bird day, and call upon the people of our state to devote some portion of that day to a consideration of the protection of our bird life.”

Now I am confused. Which day is the actual official Bird Day in Alabama, March 14 or May 4th? Do you have the answer? If so, please answer in the comments below.

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  1. would love to see a map where you could find the sites mentioned .

  2. I believe you have a picture of a “yellowhammer” from Britain, Emberiza citrinella, not the state bird of Alabama. The Yellowhammer in the state of Alabama is the Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus.

  3. Donna,
    I have a handful of original issues of the Alabama Bird Day Book, with the earliest being 1909. It appears that the date of the Bird Day celebration changed with the year, perhaps because the book served as a program to be presented in the public schools (on Fridays it seems). Here are the dates I have
    1909- May 4th
    1910- May 4th
    1911-Missing pages
    1912-May 3rd
    1913-May 4th
    1914-May 1st
    1915-May 7th
    1916-May 5th
    1917-May 4th
    1918-May 3rd
    1920-March 26
    1921- May 4th
    1922- May 5th
    1923-April 27th- indicated earlier date to precede end of the school year
    1930- March 14th

    1. Thanks, Will!

  4. The Alabama yellow hammer

  5. As an assignment in the forth grade, I had to draw picture of this bird.

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