The Colorado State Animal

Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep; Ovis canaensis Canadensis

The Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep was adopted as the official state animal on May 1, 1961 by an act of the General Assembly.  The Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep is found only in the Rockies, usually above timberline in rugged mountainous areas. 

The male sheep is three to three and a half feet tall at the shoulder and weighs up to 300 pounds, while the female is slightly smaller.  These animals are known for their agility and perfect sense of  balance. 

The bighorn sheep was named for its massive horns which curve backward from the forehead down, then forward.  On the ram, the horns can be as long as 50 inches in length.  It is unlawful to pursue, take, hunt, wound, or kill the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep except as provided for by law.
Citation: Senate Bill 294, 1961; Colorado Revised Statute 24-80-911.

The Colorado State Bird

Lark Bunting; Calamospiza melancoryus Stejneger 

The Lark Bunting was adopted as the official state bird on April 29, 1931. 

The Lark Bunting is a migrant bird.  Flocks arrive in April and inhabit the plains regions and areas up to 8,000 feet in elevation.  They fly south again in September.

The mail bird is black with snowy white wing patches and edgings, tail coverts and outer tail feathers.  In winter the male bird changes to a gray brown like the female bird, however the chin remains black and the black belly feathers retain white edgings.  The female bird is gray brown above and below with dusky streaks.  The male bird is six to seven inches while the female is slightly smaller.  The male bird performs a spectacular courtship flight, during which he warbles and trills a distinctive mating song.
Citation: House Bill 222, 1931; Colorado Revised Statute 24-80-910