Oklahoma State Symbols
According to Watchtutorials, Oklahoma is often referred to as the “Sooner State,” a nickname that pays homage to its history of settlement. The name was adopted from the settlers who entered the Unassigned Lands of Indian Territory before the official opening date set by the federal government. These settlers were known as Sooners and were seen as pioneers for their willingness to migrate into an area where few others had ventured. The Sooner State nickname has been used in various forms since at least 1889 and is widely recognized both within and outside of Oklahoma. It is a source of pride for many Oklahomans and is often used in official state documents, on license plates, and even in the state song. In addition to this nickname, Oklahoma is also sometimes referred to as “The Land of Red Dirt & Blues,” which references its unique geography, cultural heritage, and musical traditions.
The state bird of Oklahoma is the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. This beautiful bird is a medium-sized songbird that measures around 7 to 8 inches in length, and has a wingspan of up to 16 inches. It has long, scissor-like tail feathers, which gives it its name. The male Scissor-tailed Flycatcher has a bright pink breast, white underside, and black head and wings with white edges. The female is less colorful than the male, with a greyish breast and brownish head and wings. The tail feathers are grayish or brownish in color.
Scissor-tailed Flycatchers are found all across Oklahoma during the summer months from April to August. During this time they can be seen perched atop telephone poles or trees where they will sing their unique songs of high pitched whistles and trills. They prefer open areas such as grasslands and agricultural fields for feeding on insects like grasshoppers, beetles, moths, and dragonflies. They will also occasionally consume fruits such as berries or grapes. During the winter months they migrate south to Mexico or Central America where they spend their time in tropical forests searching for food until it is time to return north in the springtime.
According to Beautyphoon, the state flower of Oklahoma is the mistletoe. It is an evergreen shrub that grows in the branches of trees. The mistletoe is a symbol of peace and friendship in many cultures, and it has been used as a Christmas decoration for centuries. The mistletoe has bright green leaves and clusters of white berries, which turn yellow as they mature. In Oklahoma, the mistletoe can be found on many species of trees such as oaks, elms, pines, and other hardwoods. It typically grows in wooded areas or near streams and lakes where there is plenty of shade.
The mistletoe is also important to Oklahoma’s wildlife; it provides shelter for birds such as cedar waxwings, blue jays, and robins during the cold winter months. Its berries are also a vital source of food for these birds when other food sources are scarce. Additionally, Native Americans have historically used the plant for medicinal purposes to treat various ailments including fever, chills, headaches, and sore throats. Its berries have also been used to make jams and jellies that are popular at holiday celebrations throughout the state.
The state tree of Oklahoma is the Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis). This small tree is native to Oklahoma and can be found throughout the state. It is a deciduous tree, meaning it loses its leaves in winter, and grows up to 20 feet tall. The trunk of the redbud is usually short and twisted, with a light gray bark that has an attractive texture. The leaves are heart-shaped and glossy green on top with a pale underside. In spring, the redbud blooms with beautiful pink flowers that cover the entire tree. The flowers are followed by flattened seedpods which persist through summer. These pods are edible when cooked and have a nutty flavor. In fall, the leaves turn yellow before falling off in winter.
The Eastern redbud has significant cultural importance to Native Americans in Oklahoma as it was used for medicinal purposes as well as food sources including nuts, seeds, and bark tea. It is also an important source of nectar for pollinators such as butterflies and bees who help ensure its continued growth in Oklahoma’s forests and woodlands. The Eastern Redbud serves as an important reminder of the beauty of nature in Oklahoma’s diverse landscapes. It is also popular among home gardeners due to its low maintenance requirements and attractive foliage which make it an ideal ornamental tree for any garden or landscape design project.