Florida Scrub-Jay Campaign
May, 1999 Update
The bill was passed unanimously in a Senate committee, despite vigorous oppositon by Marion Hammer of the NRA, but failed to get onto the floor of either the House or Senate for a vote.
Petition drives are still underway. Rep. Futch and Sen. Kurth will continue the effort in the next legislative session.
A campaign is currently underway to designate the Florida Scrub-Jay
as the official state bird of Florida. The current state bird is the Northern Mockingbird.
The Florida Audubon Society at their membership meeting last fall adopted a resolution to support this effort. Rep. Howard Futch filed a bill
in the House of Representatives to make it official.
Brooksville's Moton Elementary Wildlife Ambassadors
project is focusing on the Florida Scrub-Jay. The site contains lots of information and great photos.
Pro arguments include:
- The Florida Scrub-Jay is the only bird endemic to Florida (ie, found only in Florida). The Northern Mockingbird is not only found throughout most of the United States, it is the state bird of several states.
- State birds should be unique to the state.
- The Florida Scrub-Jay is a recognized symbol of Florida's environmental crisis.
- While it is a threatened species, enough is known to save the species from extinction. Designation as the state bird could increase the chances it will be saved.
Con arguments include:
- The Florida Scrub-Jay is not found in all parts of the state; the Northern Mockingbird is.
The text of the bill designating the Florida Scrub-Jay as the state bird: