NRA's Marion Hammer taking aim at the little scrub jay -- again
The NRA's Marion Hammer always loves a good old fashioned political fight in the Legislature, and she's ready for another one, now that Democratic Rep. Mark Pafford of West Palm Beach, the House Democratic leader, wants to replace the mockingbird as the state bird with the scrub jay.
"I'm ready," Hammer said Wednesday.
Hammer still has stacks of information from the 1999 and 2000 sessions of the Legislature, when she successfully thwarted passage of legislation by the late Rep. Howard Futch of Melbourne Beach to make the scrub jay the state bird. In 2009,
The 1927 Legislature designated the mockingbird as the official state bird. A few years ago, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission proposed making the osprey the state bird, and Hammer rose in opposition to that idea, too, as media outlets from coast to coast took notice.
Pafford has filed House Bill 843, designating the aphelocoma coerulescens -- the scrub jay -- as Florida's state bird. It's native to Florida and is frequently found in Brevard County.
"I think Audubon got him to file it just to get in my face," Hammer said.