Guest Author - Lisa Shea
The Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos, is found in most of the US and Mexico. It is a largish bird, around the size of a robin or blue jay, and is found in the suburbs and brushy areas. It is generally grey in color white a white breast and white patches on its wings.
Mockingbirds have loud, musical songs, often imitating other birds. It also has a harsh call, much like a blackbird.
One of the most famous references to mockingbirds is in the book (and then movie) "To Kill a Mockingbird". Written by Harper Lee, the movie is one of the top 100 of AFI film list. The mockingbird reference comes at the end of the story. Scout, the young heroine, says that to reveal a very shy, mentally ill man to public scrutiny "would be like killing a mockingbird" - destroying something precious and fragile that meant no harm to anyone.
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The Northern Mockingbird is the state bird of Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee and Texas.
State Bird Listing