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Mississippi State Bird
Adopted in February 23, 1944.
The Women's Federated Clubs of Mississippi held a state bird campaign, selecting the mockingbird, (Mimus polyglottos.) A bill to designate the mockingbird Mississippi's official state bird was submitted in 1944. It passed the House 121-0, the Senate 38-0. The mockingbird was signed into law on February 23, 1944.
Mississippi State Bird: Mockingbird
Mockingbirds are gray with white patches on their wings. They grow to be about 11 inches long. Mockingbirds copy, or mock, the sounds and songs of other birds
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 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.
Characteristics of the Mockingbird
Facts about the Mockingbird:
2013 Mississippi Code
Title 3 - STATE SOVEREIGNTY, JURISDICTION AND HOLIDAYS
Taxonomic Hierarchy of the Mockingbird
Official State Birds
State Bird: Bird selected (as by the legislature) as an emblem of a state of the United States.
NOTE: Many states have more than one official bird, or have designate state birds more specifically.
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