Mockingbirds are out; scrub jays are in. And there we bird lovers were, out of step with the times, praising mockingbirds in Backyard Bird Racers this past Saturday. We didn’t know that only three days earlier the mockingbird had been trashed publicly by Florida State Representative Mark Pafford and formally proposed in HB 843 to be ousted as the official state bird in favor of the Florida scrub jay. Here is the evidence of our commentary shame for the world to scorn.
Mockingbirds are the handsome bastards of the bird world. (indubitably)
Yes! I see them and magpies as the guys who can look like they are all dressed up formally being elegant and sleek and the next moment they are jokers. (Bésame)
A self-proclaimed “legislative short-timer” from West Palm Beach, Pafford writes in a Tampa BayTimes column that Florida’s State Bird, the mockingbird, is “an obnoxious, plagiarizing and promiscuous bully and has to go.” He suggest the Florida scrub jay as a better representative because “its a handsome blue and slate, is native to — and remains in — our state. The mockingbird — a monotonous gray — is commonplace and all over the map. It comes and goes like the fickle-feathered fiend it is.”