Mockingbirds are very intelligent, and if you know that they’re close relatives of the crows, you already knew that! But here are some fun facts about Mockingbirds that you may NOT have known…
The Northern Mockingbird is nearly as popular as the Cardinal as a State bird! Five states have the mockingbird as their very own state bird: Texas, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Florida.
Both male and female Mockingbirds sing, although the hen does tend to be quieter. They both look pretty much the same, with the female being slightly smaller. Males migrate in first and set about claiming a territory by flying up and flashing their white wing patches. When the females arrive a few weeks later, males will continue to display to entice a hen to check him out.
Both parents build the nest, then the hen will lay her 2 to 6 eggs and incubate them for about two weeks. After hatching, both parents feed the baby birds for (according to the books) about 10 days, then the fledglings are considered to be independent.
Mom and Dad will generally raise at least two and sometimes three clutches of babies in a single summer.
Mockingbirds in the wild generally live about eight years, and in captivity they can live to 20 years old!
Male mockingbirds sings different songs in the spring than in the fall, and mockingbirds are well known to sing through the night. If you’re lucky enough to have a pair at your house like we do, it’s pretty amazing to wake up in the night to birdsong! They can learn up to 200 different songs, so they don’t have a lot of “repeats”.
Thomas Jefferson had a pet mockingbird! It was named “Dick”.
And, mockingbirds are extremely territorial and protective- they’ve been caught on camera attacking cats or dogs, as well as people who got too close to their nest!
Mockingbirds live throughout North America- in parts of Canada, Mexico and the U.S. They’re easy to find in trees or on posts overlooking fields, pastures, and backyards, singing loudly and flying down to catch a tasty insect or eat a berry or two.
Mockingbirds eat mostly insects through the summer, then switch to friuts and berries in the fall as these foods become more available. My local mockingbirds have eaten dried fruit in our feeder in the early spring when the other birds ignore it.
You can find more Northern Mockingbird information at https://forum.americanexpedition.us/northern-mockingbird, and there are lots more sites like All About Birds and the Audubon Society’s page if you’re interested.
Keep your bird feeder filled and see if you can attract your own mockingbird songster!
feel free to email me at FlamingPurpleJellyfish@gmail.com with comments,
corrections, and complaints!
With Grace and Gratitude,