From Ohio History Central
In 1933, the Ohio General Assembly made the cardinal Ohio's state bird. The cardinal's scientific name is Cardinalis Cardinalis.
When Europeans first arrived in Ohio during the late 1600s and the early 1700s, cardinals were very rare to the area. Cardinals are an edge animal, living in shrubs and thickets, along the edges where woodlands meet fields, and in urban and suburban yards. In the 1700s, Ohio was 95% forested with very little appropriate habitat for cardinals. As forests were cleared, the habitat became more suitable for cardinals. By the late 1800s, cardinals had expanded into the modified habitat of Ohio and could be found in all of the state. In 1882, J.M. Wheaton reported seeing more than one hundred cardinals during a one-hour period in central portions of Ohio. During this period, some people trapped cardinals and sold them to people as pets. By the start of the twentieth century, cardinals existed as far north as the southern portions of Canada. Today, cardinals live in all of Ohio's eighty-eight counties and can be found in both rural and urban settings.