The common mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) is a superb songbird and mimic. Its own song has a pleasant lilting sound and is, at times, both varied and repetitive. Often, the mockingbird sings all night long, especially under bright springtime moonlight.
Mockingbirds are usually about ten inches in length, with a fifteen-inch wingspan, grayish upper portions, white undersides, and white patches on the tail and wings. The female has slightly less whiteness in its feathers than the male.
The mockingbird is helpful to humans because it usually feeds on insects and weed seeds. In the summer and fall, it also eats ripe berries.
The nest, a joint project of the male and female mockingbird, is a bulky, open cup of grass, twigs, and rootlets carelessly arranged in a dense tree or bush. The three to six eggs per nest are a pale blue-green with brown spots. This year-round Florida resident is known for its fierce defense of the family nest.
Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 3 of the 1927 legislative session designated the mockingbird as the state bird. Not only a Florida favorite, it is also the state bird of Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.