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Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos


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Northern Mockingbird
credit: bobistraveling/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Mimidae, Mockingbirds and Thrashers view all from this family

Description ADULT Has mainly gray upperparts, but note the blackish wings with striking white wing bars and white patch (larger in males) at base of primaries. Tail is mainly black, but with contrasting white outer feathers. Dark line emphasizes the beady yellow eye. Underparts are pale gray-buff, palest on throat and undertail. Bill is dark and slightly downcurved and legs are dark. JUVENILE Recalls adult, but has paler upperparts, while underparts are warmer buff and heavily spotted on throat and breast.

Dimensions Length: 9-11" (23-28 cm)

Habitat Common in a wide range of habitats with scattered trees and scrub; mostly resident, but northernmost populations move south in fall.

Observation Tips Easy to see and hear.

Range Southwest, Great Lakes, California, Texas, Western Canada, Plains, New England, Eastern Canada, Rocky Mountains, Florida, Northwest, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast

Voice Song consists of rich, warbling phrases, each repeated several times; often sings after dark, especially in artificially lit suburbs. A very good mimic. Call is a sharp tchek.

Discussion Familiar, long-tailed bird and accomplished songster. Often perches conspicuously. Varied diet includes insects and berries. White flashes are striking when wings are spread in display. Sexes are similar.