"Northern Mockingbird"
(Mimus polyglottos)







Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost
Photograph by
Snow W. Frost








Mockingbirds have a relatively short tail; relatively short straight bill; gray upperparts; heavily streaked breast and flanks; outer tips of tail white; 2 white wing bars. In late summer, wing bars and much of streaking breast can be worn away.

Mockingbirds form territories of about 1-2 acres, 2 times a year. In spring, the male sings and defends a breeding territory against other mockingbirds, cats, snakes, people, large birds, and any potiential predator.

Mockingbirds are superb songsters, with many beautiful melodies of its own as well as the ability to imitate the songs of other birds and any man made noises that comes to its attention. They spend most of their time on the ground, but it is common to see and her males sining from prominenent elevated perches. The mockingbird may sit in the same tree and continue its music all night long.





Size: 10"

Male: Silvery gray head and back with light gray chest and belly. White wing patches, seen in flight or during display. Tail mostly black with white outer tail feathers. Black bill.

Female: Same as male.

Nest: Cup; female and male build; 2 broods per year, sometimes more. Bulky nest of twigs, grasses, leaf shreds, and bark lined with rootlets, horsehair, and fur, placed on the ground or in low bush, especially sage, up to 3 feet above the ground.

Eggs: 1-7, deep green-blue with brown spots.

Incubation: 12-13 days; female incubates.

Fledging: 11-13 days; female and male feed young.

Migration: Non-migrator.

Food: Insects, fruit. It feeds by running around on the ground, picking up and eating various insects and spiders. Often comes to cultivated gardens of grapes and berries in summer and fall, to eat the fruit.

Habitat: Summers in sage; winters in desert scrub.

Voice: Song mimics other bird's, each version repeated 3 or more times; calls include a raspy "chjjj" and a loud "chewk".

In Flight: Bold white patches on wings.

Territorial Dance: Two mockingbirds will meet eye to eye along the boundary line between their territories. They will jump from side to side, each following the other's movements, reaffirming the boundaries, and then, usually, each will fly back into its own territory without a fight.





My personal notes...

I find it difficult to photograph these birds, as they are constantly "flicking" their tails and jumping around. They love to eat bread, but really enjoy bananas. It's interesting the white bands you are able to see when they fly...it gets your attention...otherwise they look quite plain when on the ground.









"Bird Wonderland"

"Wonderland"


Copyright 1999-2009 Snow W. Frost
All rights reserved.
Reproduction without permission is strictly forbidden.