The Mockingbird, (Mimus polyglottos,) was adopted as the official state bird of Florida on April 23, 1927 by Florida Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 3 which states that the melody of its music has delighted the heart of residents and visitors to Florida from the days of the rugged pioneer to the present comer. The Mockingbird is very famous. It even had a song written about it. "Listen To The Mockingbird" by Richard Milburn in 1855.
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.
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 law designating the mockingbird as the official Florida state bird is Florida Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 3 approved on April 23, 1927. Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 3 read, in part,
"WHEREAS, The Legislature of the State of Florida has thrown the arm of its protecting care around the Mocking Bird by the
enactment of suitable legislation and,
WHEREAS, The melody of its music has delighted the heart of residents and visitors to Florida from the days of the rugged pioneer to the present comer, and
WHEREAS, This bird of matchless charm is found throughout our State, therefore
Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
Section 1. That the Mocking Bird be and it is hereby designated as the State Bird of the State of Florida."
Because the Mocking Bird, or Mockingbird, was adopted as the Florida state bird by Senate Concurrent Resolution, it is not a part of Florida law
and is not documented in the Florida Statutes.
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