Northern Mockingbird

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Mimus Polyglottos

Northern Mockingbird

Males and females look alike. They have thin and dark eyeline and yellow to orange eyes.

They have two white wing bars and large patches on the wings, their tail is long with white outer feathers, and black central tail feathers. Upperparts are pale grey, underparts are whitish. Legs are long and dusky.

Juveniles resemble adults, but are browner above and have large pale brown spots on underparts, from throat to upper belly and flanks.

BILL: thin, black with brown base.

SIZE: measures from 8.1 - 11 inches in length (including tail almost as long as its body), with a wingspan ranging from 12 - 15 inches.

WEIGHT: weighs about 40 - 58 grams.

COLOR: yellow, orange, white, black and brown.

Fruits, berries, spiders, and insects (beetles, ants, bees, wasps, and grasshoppers), also earthworms and small lizards.

Open ground and with shrubby vegetation like hedges, fruiting bushes, and thickets.

Southern Canada, southwards to southern Mexico and the Caribbean. Introduced in Bermuda and Hawaii.

Breeds from northern California, eastern Nebraska, Southern Ontario, and Atlantic Canada southward to southern Mexico.

The usual call is a loud “tchak”. The song is highly varied, often melodious sting of phrases, many imitative of other birds that are typically repeated three or more times each.

Often sings continuously for long periods. Its call is a harsh, dry “chew”. Often sings at night.

Both sexes sing in fall, claiming feeding territories.

NEST: open cup, made of twigs, cotton, dry leaves, stems, paper, grass, and other organic material, and built-in shrubs and trees anywhere from one to fifty feet off of the ground.

EGGS: 2 -3 smooth, greenish-blue eggs, heavily marked with brown spots.

INCUBATION: 12 -13 days, female only.

NESTLING PHASE: 12 - 13 days.

They are diurnal and partially migratory. They are highly territorial and may attack any intruder.

They are very aggressive, chases off other birds and mammals. Often seen chasing large birds such as crows and hawks away from its nest.

The oldest Northern Mockingbird on record was at least 14 years, 10 months old.

Northern Mockingbird Infographic





1 comment

  • We have a pair that have decided to come to our Oriole feeder with grape jelly and mealworms. This is a first for us, even though we have fed birds for years. We are in central New York.


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