Italy has no national bird! How this sad state of affairs could possibly continue is beyond the ken of this bird blogger but it is certainly disturbing that such an illustrious country with such a rich history could lack a feathered ambassador. Some places on the web claim that the national bird of Italy is the “bluebird” but this is so untrue that it does not make sense. (Europe, let alone Italy, doesn’t have bluebirds.)

The lack of a national bird is not because Italy has a paucity of birds or a lack of interest in symbols. Here, for example, is the emblem of Italy, adopted by the Italian Republic in 1948.

emblem of Italy

The only living creature given “national” status by Italy is the Italian Wolf, which is apparently their national animal. Sadly for Italy, the Italian Wolf is not considered a full species by any scientists. Many don’t even consider it a subspecies any more, but lump it in with the Eurasian Wolf, which is itself the nominate subspecies of the Gray Wolf.

A good candidate for the national bird of Italy is the Pied Avocet. It is already the namesake of the ornithological journal Avocetta which is published by the Centro Italiano Studi Ornitologici (Italian Center of Ornithological Studies). Not only that but the Pied Avocet is a striking bird with an economy of style, much like the best Italian sports cars.

Pied Avocet by Redgannet

Pied Avocet by Redgannet

What do you think the national bird of Italy should be? Pied Avocet or something else? Let us know in the comments…

Want to see all of the national bird posts on 10,000 Birds?  Click on our National Birds page!


Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.