@stl156 - I was a little confused by the Larry Bird thing then thought about it and it made sense.
The state bird does not need to be unique and reflect the state's culture simply because some state's do not have unique birds that can appropriately reflect the state in a unique manner.
The cardinal is a unique bird that happens to be common and is the state bird of several states. It is not unusual, but a very unique bird that is slightly less common than sparrows or other types of common birds.
I say that with certain state sponsored things it does not matter a whole lot as long as it makes sense. Some should probably reflect the state culture but as long as it makes sense and involves the state in some way I feel that it is fine.