Northern Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos

Type of Animal:

Forest/woodland edges, open areas, parks/parkland, suburban areas, gardens, mowed lawns w/ shrubs, chaparral, desert scrub, farmland/farms, towns, roadsides, brushy areas, thickets, lawns, suburban hedges, second growth, canyon streamsides, fruiting bushes, cultivated land, shrubland, agricultural areas, urban areas, fields, desert brush

Native to S Canada, continental US, SE Alaska, Mexico, Bahamas, & Greater Antilles. Introduced to Hawaii, Barbados, St. Helena, Socorro, Cayman Islands, & Tahiti. Vagrants rarely occur in Britain. 

Medium-sized bird w/ gray to brown upper parts & white to whitish-gray belly/chest, long tail, white patches on wings

Insects, berries, fruit, spiders, snails, sowbugs, earthworms, seeds, sap, small crustaceans, lizards

Status in Wild:

Protection under Migratory Bird Treaty Act

Found alone, in pairs, or in small colonies. Sometimes breed in loose colonies. 

Additional Info:

Male: Cock
Female: Hen
Young: Chick
Group: Colony/Echo/Plagiary/Ridicule

1.6-2 oz

2-3 weeks

Life Span:
8 years in wild, 15-20 years in captivity

8.3-10.2 in

Body Length:
8.3-10.2 in

Tail Length:
7-8 in

Main predators of adults are raptors, snakes, corvids, alligators, felids, canids, raccoons, bears, & weasels. Smaller snakes & squirrels prey on chicks.

Due to vocal repertoire, they were very popular cagebirds in late 19th/early 20th century. This caused dramatic decline in parts of range.

State bird of 5 states-Texas, Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee, & Mississippi.

They raise 2-4 broods a year, typically in spring & summer, w/ each brood having 2-6 young. Older chicks sometimes help out younger chicks.

Maturity reached at 9-12 months old.

While territorial, neighboring birds will help each other when mobbing predators or defending nests.

Fun Fact(s):
These birds very bold, especially during nesting season. These birds will drive away other bird species & even mob predators & dive-bomb people.

In famous 1960 story To Kill A Mockingbird, mockingbirds represent innocence.

These birds are very intelligent.

Males sing more than females. These birds can sing over 200 songs, including those of other bird species, amphibians, insects, & even car alarms & creaky gates. It’s believed that females more attracted to males w/ wider repertoire.

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