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Northern Mockingbird

The Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), is the only mockingbird commonly found in North America. The Northern Mockingbird breeds in southeastern Canada, the United States, northern Mexico, the Bahamas, Cayman Islands and the Greater Antilles. It is replaced further south by its closest living relative, the Tropical Mockingbird (Mimus gilvus). This bird is mainly a permanent resident, but northern birds may move south during harsh weather.

Mockingbirds have a strong preference for certain trees such as maple, sweetgum, and sycamore. They generally avoid pine trees after the other trees have grown their leaves. Also, they have a particular preference for high places, such as the topmost branches of trees. Mockingbirds are often found in urban and suburban areas, where they perch on telephone poles, streetlights, or high points on buildings. While singing on a high perch they will often bolt several feet into the air in a looping motion, with wings outstretched to display their white underside, then land back on the perch without breaking a note. This action serves as a territorial display.

Mockingbirds forage on the ground or in vegetation. They mainly eat insects, berries and seeds. It builds a twig nest in a dense shrub or tree. It aggressively defends this nest and the surrounding area against other birds and animals, including humans. When a predator is persistent, Mockingbirds from neighboring territories, summoned by a distinct call, may join the attack. Other birds may gather to watch as the Mockingbirds harass the intruder.

Northern Mockingbird


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