Texas’ State Bird is a Surprising Mimic
Every Texan is familiar with icons like the Alamo and the state Capitol, but how many of our feathered friends can you identify? Northern cardinal, blue jay, grackle … Those are pretty easy, but there are so many more!
Birding is one of the fastest-growing outdoor activities in the U.S. With 639 species of birds documented in Texas, things really are bigger and better here in the Lone Star State. Birding in Texas is year-round, thanks to our location and diverse eco-regions, and can be rewarding in every corner of the state. TPWD's wildlife trails make it easier than ever to find the best birding hot spots.
Learning to identify all our state’s birds can be a daunting task, especially during fall migration, which is happening right now. One species that makes it easy to begin your birdwatching journey is our state bird, the mockingbird. It’s loud and funny and around all year long.
This gray and white bird makes up for its drab appearance with a voice that could compete in any singing competition. The Latin name (Mimus polyglottos), which translates loosely to “the many-tongued mimic,” really sums up this songster. Instead of singing its own song, this bird performs like a tribute band playing an original band’s song note for note. A seasoned male mockingbird can sing the songs of dozens of other species found nearby and make a variety of other vocalizations, from frog sounds to car alarms.
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