In elementary school, I learned Illnoiis' state bird is a cardinal, a northern cardinal to be exact. I never learned what Wisconsin's state bird was because it was either not taught about in school or I was too busy fulfilling my role as the class clown. (Likely the latter.) Regardless, I was today years old when I learned Wisconsin has two "official" birds and one of them isn't even real. Of course, there's a story behind it.

So, technically, Wisconsin's state bird is an American Robin, according to That bird is about as exciting as the team colors for that NFL team up in 'sconsin. And, the other "official" bird that belongs to Madison, thanks to some University of Wisconsin alumni, is made of plastic. Yes, a plastic bird holds the title of Madison's bird. Before I share the story can we assume beer was involved or is that stereotyping too much?

Madison, Wisconsin's official bird is a plastic flamingo. There is no way booze was not involved in the prank leading to city officials voting this as the city's bird.

BestLifeOnine shared the backstory,

While the state's official bird is the American robin, the official bird of Madison, WI is the plastic pink flamingo. This grew from a 1979 prank in which students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison planted 1,008 of the animals in the grass in front of the dean's office. In 2009, the city's city council voted to make the bird official.

There ya you have it, the story behind a plastic flamingo being the official bird of a city in Wisconsin. You can buy your own pink flamingos if you're inspired by this article.

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JB Love is ½ of  Q98.5's Lil Zim & JB In The Morning, weekday mornings from 5:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and TikTok.

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