NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD

NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD (Mimus polyglottos)

The Northern mockingbird can imitate the song of dozens of other birds but also sounds from other animals and even artificial objects. It sings most of the day and even during the night. Its Latin name roughly means ‘imitator speaking many languages’. Its vocal reputation almost doomed the species in decades past, as the bird was hunted and sold for the caged bird market.

The bird is about 25 cm (10 in.) long and has a long tail with white outer feathers. It is mainly grey with two white wing bands. The bill is slightly curved and black. Sexes are similar, but the juveniles have a streaked chest. It is an omnivore, i.e. will eat both insects and fruit. It is common in North America and has well adapted to urban environments.

The northern mockingbird is a culturally important bird in the United States. It is the state bird of several states, and is referred to in songs, books, and a movie based on a novel, To Kill A Mockingbird.

The northern mockingbird breeds on PEI, but is uncommon to rare. This bird is usually a permanent resident on its distribution area, which is the USA, Mexico, Cuba, and southern Canada. However there might be some partial migration south for the birds at the northernmost part of their range.

Northern mockingbird - Dunedin, PEI - Dec. 2007 - by John Read
Northern mockingbird – Dunedin, PEI – Dec. 2007 – by John Read
Northern Mockingbird - Rockport, TX - Mar. 10, 2017 - by Jodi Arsenault
Northern Mockingbird – Rockport, TX – Mar. 10, 2017 – by Jodi Arsenault
Northern Mockingbird - Nov. 12, 2012 - Joanne Dunphy
Northern Mockingbird – Nov. 12, 2012 – © Joanne Dunphy
Northern mockingbird juvenile near the Long Island Sound, Stratford, CT
Northern mockingbird juvenile with streaked breast – photo taken near the Long Island Sound, Stratford, CT

This Northern mockingbird below was filmed near the Long Island Sound in Stratford, CT:

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