Mimus polyglottos
(Northern Mockingbird)


Order: Passeriformes
Order Description: Passerines
Family: Mimidae
Family Description: Mockingbirds and Thrashers

Physical Description:
Length 10", with long tail. Gray on back and lighter below. White outer tail feathers and wing patches which are flashed repeatedly in a nervous manner.

Similar species- Loggerhead Shrike and Northern Shrike, which have a thicker bill and a dark face mask.

Song:
Original and mimicked phrases in clear whistles, often repeated in sets of three.

Distribution:
Resident populations in southern United States from California, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and North Carolina, with summer movements to southern Oregon, Idaho, and across to the Great Lakes and New England.

Habitat:
A variety of open to partly open situations from areas of scattered brush to forest edges and even desert conditions. In many areasvirtually restricted to areas of human habitiation.

Diet:
Insects and other invertebrates, fruits and berries.

Ecology:
Uses songs and calls of other birds, as well as rusty gates, with unmated males singing more vigorously, and often at night. Feeds by gleaning branches and on the ground, where frequent wing flashes are thought to scare up insect prey, but also to distract snakes and other potential predators. Nests in an open cup of twigs, places in a coniferousClick word for definition or deciduousClick word for definition shrub.

Reproduction:
monogamousClick word for definition, lays 3-5 eggs, incubated for 12-13 days by the female only. She broodsClick word for definition the young for 4 days after hatching and the male gathers most of the food for his mate and the family. Fairly rare nesting species in southern Idaho, and occasionally further north.

Conservation:
Element Code: ABPBK03010
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S1
National Rank: N5

Important State References:
No references are available at this time.


Photo by George Jameson, ©2002.
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.