Florida: State Bird

(Northern mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos)

What Is the Florida State Bird?

The state of Florida picked the Northern mockingbird as its state bird, as did numerous other states. There are lots of people across the country who absolutely love this little bird, which is known for its impressive singing abilities and its long tail. The Northern mockingbird tends to migrate across the country, frequenting the southern area during the winter, but there are plenty of Northern mockingbirds that can be found in Florida throughout the year. Given its popularity across the state, the Northern mockingbird was a natural choice to be Florida's state bird.

Why Did Florida Pick the Northern Mockingbird To Be Its State Bird?

Florida decided to pick the Northern mockingbird to be its state bird because of the beautiful way it sings to the public. Lots of people love the tunes it sings, and the Northern mockingbird is able to sing hundreds of different songs, often learning the different noises it hears throughout the day.

Another reason why Florida picked the Northern mockingbird is that it protects the public against bugs and various insects. It is not exactly a secret that Florida can attract a wide variety of bugs throughout the year, and the residents get tired of trying to shoo them off their porches. When the Northern mockingbird arrives, it eats a lot of these insects, preventing them from invading the patios of people who live in the local area, which means that the Northern mockingbird is popular across the state for multiple reasons.

When Did Florida Pick the Northern Mockingbird as Its State Bird?

Florida adopted its state bird around the same time as numerous other states were doing the same thing. Florida passed a resolution in 1927 adopting the Northern mockingbird as the official state bird, and it has been one of the mascots of the state ever since.

What Is The Appearance and Behavior of the Northern Mockingbird?

The male and female Northern mockingbirds look similar. While the females tend to be a bit smaller, both birds have a gray chest with white on the stomach. There is also a strong black and brown base across the body.

The Northern mockingbird is one of the longer birds, with the males growing to be about 11 inches in size. They have a wingspan of about 15 inches, but they still weigh less than two ounces.

Of note, it is illegal for people to own a Northern mockingbird, as the lifespan is far shorter in captivity. It is not unusual for a Northern mockingbird to live for up to 80 years if it is allowed to live free in the wild, but if they are kept in captivity, the lifespan shortens to only about 20 years.

The defining characteristic of the Northern mockingbird is the way it sings. It can sing hundreds of songs, will mimic songs of other birds, and will even try to mimic the sounds of noises it hears and the cries of other animals.