Is Mockingbird Being Asked To Retire? How About Sandhill Crane As The Replacement Bird?
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Among the many symbols for state of Florida, the status of northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) as the Florida state bird has come into question. St. Petersburg Republican Senator Jeff Brandes recently filed a proposal (SCR 324) for the 2022 legislative session to rescind the designation of the northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) as the Florida state bird since 1927. Brandes’ proposal does not suggest a replacement bird.
To see the full text of the SCR 324: Rescinding the Designation of the Mockingbird as the State Bird, please click HERE.
In Brandes’ Thursday and Friday tweets, he tweeted that Florida should have a state bird that people identify as being from Florida. Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas also claim the mockingbird as their state bird.
Northern mockingbird was previously selected as Florida state bird because it is a year-round Florida resident, helpful to humans because it feeds on insects and weed seeds, known for its fierce defense of the family nest, and a superb songbird and mimic.
For 10 fun facts about northern mockingbird, please click HERE.
To learn about Mockingbird, please refer to the excerpt from wikipedia, in italics, below:
Mockingbirds are a group of New World passerine birds from the family Mimidae. They are best known for the habit of some species mimicking the songs of other birds and the sounds of insects and amphibians, often loudly and in rapid succession. There are about 17 species in two genera, although three species of mockingbird from the Galapagos Islands were formerly separated into a third genus, Nesomimus. The mockingbirds do not appear to form a monophyletic lineage, as Mimus and Melanotis are not each other’s closest relatives; instead, Melanotis appears to be more closely related to the catbirds, while the closest living relatives of Mimus appear to be thrashers, such as the sage thrasher.
The only mockingbird commonly found in North America is the northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos). The Greek word polyglottos means ‘multiple languages’. Mockingbirds are known for singing late at night, even past midnight.
Perhaps the school children of state of Florida will be able to help us to make the decision in whether or not to replace the mockingbird. If we have to find a replacement bird for state of Florida, I wonder if they would consider the beautiful sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) that I see from time to time here in central Florida neighborhood, below:
For more information about the Sandhill cranes, please refer to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission web site on the subject of Sandhill crane (excerpt in italics below).
Two subspecies of sandhill crane occur in Florida. The Florida sandhill crane (G. c. pratensis), numbering 4,000 to 5,000, is a non-migratory year-round breeding resident. They are joined every winter by 25,000 migratory greater sandhill cranes (G. c. tabida), the larger of the two subspecies. The greater sandhill crane winters in Florida but nests in the Great Lakes region. Sandhill cranes nest during late winter and spring on mats of vegetation about two feet in diameter and in shallow water.
Florida sandhill cranes inhabit freshwater marshes, prairies, and pastures (Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001). They occur throughout peninsular Florida north to the Okefenokee Swamp in southern Georgia; however, they are less common at the northernmost and southernmost portions of this range. Florida’s Kissimmee and Desoto prairie regions are home to the state’s most abundant populations (Meine and Archibald 1996).
Sandhill crane reflects the residents here in Florida, some are year-round residents and some only winters here in Florida.
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com
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