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A new state bird for Florida? Which one?



Statebird For 72 years, Florida's state bird has been the feisty mockingbird, a gray-feathered mimic that is as likely to show up in a suburban back yard or a downtown park as in a forest or a swamp.

But the mockingbird is also the state bird of Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. So the state wildlife commission asked schoolchildren to pick a new state bird. More than 20,000 voted for the osprey, a raptor sometimes known as the fish hawk.

The osprey "represents the thousands of miles of river ways, lake shores and coastlines that make Florida distinctive in the United States and where this regal bird makes its home," the staff of the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wrote in a memo last month.

The wildlife commission will vote this week to make the bird switch one of their top priorities for the 2010 Legislature.

What do you want the state bird to be

Scrub jay.
We should stick with the mockingbird.

Osprey The osprey gets a nod from one reader: John Paul Getting shared this cool shot of an osprey -- with its latest catch in its talons -- near the St. Petersburg Pier.

[Last modified: Monday, May 24, 2010 3:57pm]


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