Massachusetts, a small but prominent state in the New England area, is well known for the roles it has played in American history. The Pilgrims settlement at Plymouth, Massachusetts, was only the second permanent English settlement in North America. Most of the towns in Massachusetts were founded by English colonists in the 1600s. Today, those towns still retain that early colonial appeal.
Massachusetts includes a number of both natural and historical sites, all managed by the National Park Service. This includes the famous Cape Cod National Seashore and the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area.
The state flower of Massachusetts is more than appropriate for the state: it's the mayflower, named in honor of the ship that brought the early Pilgrim settlers to the state. Also known as a trailing arbutus, the mayflower blossoms in the early spring and spreads as a thick and vivid groundcover, usually with delicate pink blossoms.
The coastal regions of Massachusetts provide a number of breeding areas for seabirds, which can be seen throughout the Massachusetts area. Also common throughout Massachusetts is the state bird, the Black-Capped Chickadee. The Chickadee is unique in that in can land upside down on twigs and fruits. In doing so, the bird is able to find food left over after other birds have feasted. The little bird is also able to dive quickly for cover when necessary, usually into a safe haven of evergreen twigs. This is important, given the sudden strikes by fast-moving hawks found throughout the Massachusetts area.