Delaware State Bird
Blue Hen Chicken
- Official Delaware State Bird Name: Blue Hen Chicken
- Scientific name: Gallus gallus
Adopted on April 14, 1939, the Blue Hen chicken had long been used as a motif in
political campaigns and in many publications.
During the Revolutionary War, on December 9, 1775, the Continental Congress resolved that a military battalion was to be
raised from the lower three counties along the Delaware River. Thus, the
Delaware regiment was born--a group composed of eight companies representing New
Castle, Kent and Sussex counties.
The second company was composed of men from Kent County and was under the
command of Capt. John Caldwell, who was an avid fan and owner of gamecocks. The
troops often amused themselves by staging cock fights with a breed known as the
Kent County Blue Hen, recognizable for its blue plumage.
The renown of these chickens spread rapidly during the time when cock fighting
was a popular form of amusement, and the "Blue Hens' Chickens" developed quite a
reputation for ferocity and fighting success.
Capt. Caldwell's company likewise acquired a considerable reputation for its own
fighting prowess, in engagements with the British at Long Island, White Plains,
Trenton and Princeton, and soon it was nicknamed "Caldwell's Gamecocks."
Capt. Caldwell's company was part of Col. John Haslet's first Delaware regiment
that reported for duty near the outset of the Revolutionary War in January,
1776. In August, 1781, remnants of the regiment were still battling at Eutaw
Although often referred to as "The Fighting Delawares," Haslet's regiment also
won the nickname, "The Blue Hens' Chickens," and that name was formally adopted
by the Delaware General Assembly in 1939 when the Blue Hen Chicken was named the
official Delaware state bird.
State Bird, is native to Southern Asia, particularly the jungles of India. The
bird spread all over the world when people domesticated the chicken.
Delaware, Rhode Island and South Dakota are the only three U.S. States that have selected non-native birds as
the Official State Bird.
State Bird (Rhode Island Red Hen).
State Bird (Ring-necked Pheasant).
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