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Northern Mockingbird

About Northern Mockingbird

Thrush sized bird with sharp pointed, slightly downcurved bill, short, rounded wings and long, tapered tail. Upperparts gray; wings blackish with two big white wing patches; underparts gray; wings blackish with white wing patches; underparts whitish; tail blackish, and white outer feathers; legs and bill gray; eyes pale yellow.

Breeds in spring and early summer. The pair will build a cup nest of twigs, stems, other plant material and debris lined with grasses, rootlets and hair or plant down, quite low down in a shrub or tree. The female will have 3-6 pale blue or greenish eggs, marked with shades of reddish brown, red and pale lilac. The female will take care of the eggs for 11-14 days.

The Northern Mockingbird has a beautiful song. This reflects in both its common name and its scientific name, which means “mimic of many tongues.” It is able to imitate song phrases or calls of up to 30 or more species.

This bird can imitate barking dogs, saws, and even squeaking hinges, and its own liquid, warbling phrases and grating or squeaking notes. The male has a repertoire of 150-300 phrases, repeated the same way every time it sings.

Mockingbirds are fierce defenders of their nesting territories. They will attack intruders. They will attack other birds, including crows and bald eagles. It will even attact a cat.