Delaware State Bird

Delaware State Bird

The first US state to ever get admission into statehood is Delaware. It got this honor in the year 1787, on December 7. It has Dover as its capital, and there really isn’t a notable nickname for the state. However, its state bird is quite famous and unique. Let’s find out more about it, shall we?

What is the state bird of Delaware?

The Delaware state bird since 1939 has been the unusual Blue Hen Chicken. The breed, Blue Hens, isn’t something that’s officially recognized. However, the name was derived from their feather color, which is steel blue.

The Blue Hen is such a prominent figure in Delaware’s history that today, the athletic team of the University of Delaware also goes by the nickname Fighting Blue Hens. The Blue Hens don’t actually descend from the regular hens but are a result of breeding birds that were given to the state by S. Hallock du Pont back in the 1960s.

What makes the state bird of Delaware unusual?

There are lots of things that make the Delaware state bird unusual. The first and foremost being that the Blue Hen Chicken isn’t even a breed that’s actually recognized as a chicken breed. They are basically the American Gamecock, except they had a bluish-gray plumage.


Delaware state bird facts

Let’s learn some facts about the Blue Hen Chicken that will help you solve all your confusion over this existent but non-existent breed.

1. One story notes that among the men recruited from Kent County during the Revolutionary War, there was the Caldwell company of Captain Jonathon. They carried game chickens around with them and often, while bored and in between fights, they would pass their time by watching these chickens fight and betting on them. This small detail bled into Delaware’s history and led the state bird to become Blue Hen Chicken.

2. Years later, somewhere in the 60s, S. Hallock DuPont gifted 12 Blue Hen Chickens to the University of Delaware. These particular breeds of Blue Hen Chickens are not related to the Kent County chickens.

3. Well, where are these new Blue Hen Chickens from? Well, they are actually a cross breed between regular Chickens and Spain’s Blue Andalusian breed. This stock of chicken has Mediterranean roots and is visible in their appearance. They don’t bear any kind of resemblance to the fighting birds that were famous among the Caldwell company either. Instead, they are now part of history for Delaware and something the kids at the university learn about.

Final Thoughts

In the US, Delaware is actually the only place where you can see the Blue Hen Chicken. The appearance of the Blue Hen Chicken had also changed a lot from when they were fighting birds. If you want to see them, we will recommend visiting the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources where a small flock is kept. The university is more than happy to give its visitors a tour.


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