ORLANDO, Fla. — A Florida State Senator has launched an online campaign to change Florida’s official state bird.
St. Petersburg Republican Senator Jeff Brandes has introduced a bill for the 2022 legislative session that would rescind the mockingbird as the avian representative of the state of Florida.
The proposed bill doesn’t suggest an alternative.
Sen. Brandes has taken to twitter to campaign on behalf of the change.
Brandes says Florida should have a state bird more representative of the area, rather than one that’s already shared by four other states.
Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas have all also designated the northern mockingbird as their state bird.
While the bill to rescind the mockingbird doesn’t offer any alternatives, Brandes has tweeted a number of suggestions, including the ibis, scrub-jay, flamingo, and Osceola turkey, each of which Brandes says would represent Florida better.
“Florida is rich with incredible seabirds and upland foul,” Brandes tweeted. “We should have a state bird that immediately says Florida.”
The common mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) has been designated as the state bird of Florida since 1927.
The scientific name translates to “mimic of many tongues,” as the mockingbird is best known for mimicking the calls of other birds, but they’re also capable of copying the sounds of other creatures.
Brandes’ effort isn’t the first time a Florida lawmaker has tried to kill the mockingbird as the state’s representative.
Bills were filed in 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2016 to make the scrub jay- found only in Florida- the state bird, but each bill failed.
Cox Media Group