Category: Birds Other
Facts about Northern Mockingbird. "Scientific name for Northern Mockingbird is Mimus polyglottos", This means multilingual mimic. The Northern Mockingbird is related to the Mexican blue mockingbird, Melanotis caerulescens, a tropical species. It is also related to the Socorro mockingbird. The Socorro is endangered. The Northern Mockingbird is not endangered or even of concern to conservationists.
Range of Northern Mockingbird
The Northern Mockingbird is the one species of mockingbird common throughout North America. The Northern Mockingbirds are considered permanent residents, in that they rarely migrate south for the winter except for some in the northern part of their range. Their permanent range includes all of California and the southern United States and up the eastern seaboard. The Northern Mockingbird summer breeding range for those that migrate includes interior areas like New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois and the southern edge of the Great Lakes.
The Northern Mockingbirds readily move into disturbed areas and are common in suburbs and urban areas. The species was originally limited to the southern United States but spread along with development (and the heat island effect of modern cities) along the west and east coasts, as well as farther north than its traditional range.
Biology of Northern Mockingbird
The Northern mockingbirds have long tails but short, rounded wings. They have gray on top with white on their undersides and white patches on the wings. The tail is black with white outer feathers. They look similar to the loggerhead shrike, but the shrike doesn’t have the white bars on the wings. The Northern Mockingbird has a short, straight bill.
It has a black line through a yellow eye. For juveniles, the black line in the eye is less distinct and the eyes are darker than they are for full grown adults.
The male Northern Mockingbirds are slightly larger than the females. The males are around ten inches long. However, males and females have similar appearances.
Behavior of Northern Mockingbird
The mockingbird flashes its tail feathers and white wing patches during territorial displays and to impress potential mates.
Mockingbird calls sound like a loud “check”, but their songs are long and complex. They can imitate the songs of a dozen different species. A few prodigies have been recorded imitating up to forty different species. Those in the western part of the range have on average a less broad repertoire.
It sometimes sings at night. This is more likely on warm, moonless nights.
They are usually monogamous, but not always. The breeding pair can hatch two to four broods in a year, with larger numbers occurring in the warmer, southern end of its range, for an average of four eggs. The young hatch after two weeks of incubation and they are independent around two weeks after that.
The male Northern Mockingbird builds the nest, while the female incubates the eggs. Both males and females feed the hatched chicks.
Diet of Northern Mockingbird
The Northern Mockingbird usually feed on berries during the winter, becoming primarily vegetarian. In warmer weather, they eat insects, earthworms, fruits and fruits. They will drink open water, dew off plants and even plant sap.
They prefer to forage in short grass, which gives them an affinity for the modern mowed lawn.
Nesting of Northern Mockingbird
Mockingbirds are sexually mature at one year of age. They lay three to five eggs in a nest in bushes and low trees, but they will not nest in dense forests. The eggs are blue and green with brown spots.
Trivia of Northern Mockingbird
The Northern Mockingbird is the state bird for five of the United States.