Oregon Fast Facts
Nickname: Beaver State
State Flag: Navy blue field with gold shield on front and gold beaver on reverse. Below the shield, which is part of the state seal, is written "1859," the year of Oregon's admission to the union as the 33rd state.
State Motto: In 1987 the Oregon Legislature voted in "She Flies With Her Own Wings" to replace Oregon's former motto, "The Union."
State Fish: Chinook Salmon. Also known as spring, king and tyee salmon. It is the largest of the Pacific salmons and the most highly prized for the fresh fish trade. Declared state fish by the 1961 Oregon Legislature, the Chinook Salmon is found from southern California to the Canadian Arctic. Record catches of 53 inches and 126 pounds have been reported.
State Flower: Oregon Grape. A low growing plant, the Oregon Grape is native to much of the Pacific Coast and found sparsely east of the Cascades. Its year-round foliage of pinnated, waxy green leaves resembles holly. The plant bears dainty yellow flowers in early summer and a dark blue berry that ripens late in the fall. The fruit can be used in cooking.
State Tree: Douglas Fir. The Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), named for David Douglas, a 19th century Scottish botanist, was designated state tree in 1939. Great strength, stiffness and moderate weight make it an invaluable timber product said to be stronger than concrete. Averaging up to 200' in height and six feet in diameter, heights of 325' and diameters of 15' also can be found.
State Rock: Thunderegg. The Thunderegg was named state rock by the 1965 Legislature after rockhounds throughout Oregon voted it first choice. Thundereggs range in diameter from less than one inch to over four feet. Nondescript on the outside, they reveal exquisite designs in a wide range of colors when cut and polished. They are found chiefly in Malheur, Wasco, Jefferson, Wheeler and Crook counties.
State Nut: Hazelnut. Oregon grows 99 percent of the entire U.S. commercial crop. The Oregon hazelnut, unlike wild varieties, grows on single-trunked trees up to 30 or 40 feet tall. Adding a unique texture and flavor to recipes and products, they are preferred by chefs, bakers, confectioners, food manufacturers and homemakers worldwide.
State Insect: Oregon Swallowtail. A true native of the Northwest, the Oregon Swallowtail is at home in the lower sagebrush canyons of the Columbia River and its tributaries, including the Snake River drainage. This strikingly beautiful butterfly, predominantly yellow, is a wary, strong flier not easily captured.
State Bird: Western Meadowlark (Sturnella neglecta), chosen state bird in 1927 by Oregon's school children in a poll sponsored by the Oregon Audobon Society. Native throughout western North America, the bird has brown plumage with buff and black markings. Its underside is bright yellow with a black crescent on the breast; its outer tail feathers are mainly white and are easily visible when it flies. The Western Meadowlark is known for its distinctive and beautiful song.