Northern Mockingbird

Mimus polyglottos

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Mockingbirds and Thrashers (Mimidae)

Code 4

NOMO

Code 6

MIMPOL

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Northern Mockingbird has a large range, estimated globally at 10,000,000 square kilometers. Native to the North America and nearby island nations and territories, this bird prefers temperate, subtropical or tropical forest and shrubland ecosystems as well as rural gardens and degraded former forest areas. The global population of this bird is estimated at 45,000,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Northern Mockingbird is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Northern Mockingbird: This medium-sized bird has gray upperparts, paler gray underparts and a faint eye line. The wings are gray-black with two white bars and large white patches, visible when spread. It has a long, gray tail edged with white, yellow eyes and black legs and feet. Feeds on fruit and insects. Several quick wing strokes alternated with wings pulled to the sides. Sexes are similar.


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.

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Northern Mockingbird SONGS AND CALLS

Northern Mockingbird A1

High-pitched begging calls from a juvenile.

Northern Mockingbird A2

Call is a repeated "chew".

Northern Mockingbird 1

"Diddle diddle" phrase can help distinguish it from other mimics.

Similar Sounding

Brown Thrasher A1

Song is a series of conversation-like doubled phrases and pauses.

Yellow-breasted Chat A3

Song is a variable collection of harsh notes and whistles.

Hwamei D1

Varied song includes whistles and imitations.

Northern Cardinal 3

Song is a collection of whistles and downslurred trills, "wheet-wheet-wheet, tew-tew-tew".


Voice Text

"Chack"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Northern Mockingbird is the state bird of Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.
  • The Northern Mockingbird voraciously defends its territory, attacking intruders including house pets and even people.
  • The often observed behavior of birds flashing their white wing patches is still unexplained. Theories include it being used to startle prey or intimidate predators.
  • A group of mockingbirds has many collective nouns, including an "echo", "exactness", "plagiary", and a "ridicule" of mockingbirds.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

RANGE MAP HAWAII

About this Hawaii Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Hawaiian island.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Eye lineX
The line of feathers just in front of and behind the eyes. It extends back from the posterior angle of the eye. This can be a useful trait used in identification in the field since it is very noticeable.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X