Mississippi State Bird

What Is the State Bird of Mississippi?

The state bird of Mississippi is the Northern mockingbird, which became the state bird in 1944. The bird has played an important role in the social history of the United States, serving as the titular bird of the famous book, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. The mockingbird is known for its beautiful songs, its long legs, and the numerous sounds it can create. While the bird can be frequently spotted throughout the southern United States during the winter, it is common in Mississippi throughout the year. Its visibility was one of the reasons why the bird was adopted as the state bird of Mississippi.

Why Is the Mockingbird the State Bird of Mississippi?

Numerous states began conducting campaigns for various state birds around the same time as Mississippi. In the 1940s, the Womens' Federated Clubs of Mississippi started to conduct a campaign to see which bird the residents would want to have as the state bird. The residents put forward a variety of ideas, and there was a vote to see which bird had the most support. In the spring of 1944, the mockingbird was adopted as the state bird of Mississippi. The bird was popular among residents at the time because it would sing its tunes throughout the day and night.

How Can the Mockingbird Be Spotted?

The mockingbird has a length of about 10 inches and a wingspan of about 14 inches in width. The mockingbird also has a grey chest with a white stomach. The mockingbird is usually brown at its base with some black patches throughout.

Of note, it is illegal for people in the United States to have a mockingbird. The mockingbird can live approximately 80 years if it is allowed to live in the wild, but if the mockingbird is kept in captivity, it doesn't live nearly that long.

What Does the Mockingbird Sound Like?

The hallmark feature of the mockingbird is that it can sing a wide variety of songs. The mockingbird is known to sing songs that are similar to the other sounds that it hears. For example, if a mockingbird hears a dog barking, the bird might try to copy the sound of the dog. Or, if the mockingbird hears another bird sing a song, it might try to do the same thing.

The mockingbird is also capable of composing its own music. Studies have found that the mockingbird can sing hundreds of songs, some of which it writes on its own. The mockingbird can even mimic the songs of musical instruments, such as the piano.

While many birds are active in the morning, the mockingbird tends to be more active in the evening. It is not unusual for people to hear the song of the mockingbird when the night owls begin to come out. The mockingbird can even put on a beautiful moonlight concert from time to time, making it a popular bird throughout the state of Mississippi.

Mississippi state bird
Northern mockingbird
Scientific Name
Mimus polyglottos
Year Became Official

Mississippi State Bird