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The Northern Mockingbird, (Mimus polyglottos,) was adopted as the official state bird of Arkansas in 1929 by the Forty-seventh General Assembly of Arkansas by House Concurrent Resolution No. 22 on March 5, 1929.
The Northern Mockingbird, the most well known representative of this family above the equator, is known scientifically as Mimus polyglottos. 'Northern' is a rather ambiguous descriptor for Mimus polyglottos, as it is the only mockingbird to appear regularly anywhere north of Mexico.
The Northern Mockingbird, clad in shades of gray with conspicuous white wing patches, enjoys exceptional popularity for such a drab specimen, evident in the fact that it is the state bird of Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.
The common mockingbird is a superb songbird and mimic. Its own song has a pleasant lilt, varied and repetitive. Often it will sing all night long, especially in bright springtime moonlight. Unmated male mockingbirds sing more than mated ones. Both sexes sing in the fall to claim winter feeding territories. These areas are often different than their spring breeding territories.
The song of the mockingbird is, in fact, a medley of the calls of many other birds, each repeated several times. It will imitate other species' songs and calls, squeaky gates, pianos, sirens, barking dogs, etc. Each imitation is repeated two or three times, then another song is started, all in rapid succession. In the above sample audio file, the songs of four distinct species were recorded in the span of about seven seconds. It is common for an individual bird to have as many as 25-30 songs in its repertory.
The mockingbird is also known as a fierce protector of its nest and environment. It is sometimes seen swooping down on a dog, cat or predator that may be venturing too close to the bird's protected territory.
Mockingbirds are members of the Mimidae family, a group of American passerines that also includes thrashers, tremblers, and New World catbirds.
The Mimus polyglottos, as the mockingbird is known scientifically, is about ten inches in length, including its relatively long tail. It has a light gray coat and a whitish underside. Its wings and tail are darker gray with white patches. The male and females look alike. Juvenile has spotted breast.
The mocking bird, or mockingbird, was adopted by the Forty-seventh General Assembly of Arkansas by House Concurrent Resolution No. 22 on March 5, 1929. The resolution read, in part:
"Whereas, most of the States of the American Union have by resolution declared what should be their State Bird; and,
Whereas, the State of Arkansas has not by Resolution of the General Assembly declared what shall be regarded as the State Bird; and,
Whereas, the Arkansas Federation of Women's Clubs have done much for the protection of the birds of the state;
Now, therefore be it resolved, by the House of the Forty-seventh General Assembly of the State of Arkansas, the Senate concurring therein, the 'Mocking Bird', be declared and everywhere recognized as the State Bird of the State of Arkansas."
The law designating the mocking bird, or mockingbird as the official Arkansas state bird is found in the 2014 Arkansas Code Title 1 - General Provisions Chapter 4 - State Symbols, Motto, Etc. Section 1-4-118.
TITLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS.
CHAPTER 2. STATE SYMBOLS, MOTTO, ETC.
1-4-118. State bird.
The mockingbird is declared and everywhere recognized as the state bird of the State of Arkansas.
History. House Concurrent Resolution No. 22, Acts 1929.
Taxonomic Hierarchy: Northern Mockingbird
Kingdom: Animalia (animal)
Phylum: Chordata (chordates)
Subphylum: Vertebrata (vertebrates)
Class: Aves (birds)
Order: Passeriformes (perching birds)
Family: Sturnidae (starlings)
Genus: Mimus Boie, 1826 (mockingbirds)
Species: ;Mimus polyglottos (Linnaeus, 1758) - Centzontle norteno (northern mockingbird)
Scientific Name: Mimus polyglottos
Taxonomic Serial Number: 17862