Northern Mockingbird: Medium-sized mockingbird with gray upperparts, paler gray underparts and faint eye line; chin and throat are white; gray-brown sub-malar streaks; upper wing coverts are tipped white; wings are gray-black with two white bars and large white patches visible when spread. Tail is long, gray and edged with white; yellow iris; black bill; gray legs. Sexes are similar. Male is heavier than female. Juvenile has dark eye and streaked underparts; legs are pale gray; iris is gray.
Range and Habitat
Northern Mockingbird: Breeds from northern California, southern Nebraska, southern Ontario, and Maritime Canada southward to southern Mexico and the West Indies. Spends winters in the southern parts of its range. Found in residential areas, city parks, farmlands, open country with thickets, and desert brush.
Breeding and Nesting
Northern Mockingbird: These birds are generally monogamous, staying together for the length of the breeding season or occasionally for life. Two to six blue green eggs with brown splotches are laid in a bulky cup nest made of sticks and weed stems, built in a bush or low tree. Incubation ranges from 12 to 13 days, and is carried out by the female.
Foraging and Feeding
Northern Mockingbird: These mockingbirds are omnivorous. Their diet consists of insects, crustaceans and a wide variety of arthropods, especially beetles, ants, bees, wasps and grasshoppers. They also eat fruits and earthworms. Occasionally they eat small lizards and flowers. They prefer short grass or nearly bare substrate when foraging on the ground.
Suet, Sunflower Seed, Nuts
Northern Mockingbird: Song is a long series of musical and grating phrases, each repeated 3 or more times. Often imitates other birds and regularly sings at night. Call is a harsh "chack."
Northern Mockingbird: Shrikes have black masks and thicker bills. Sage Thrasher lacks white wing patches and has darker, more extensive spotting below. Bahama Mockingbird has streaked flanks and lacks wing patches.