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Birds on the Beargrass: Northern Mockingbird

Updated: Jul 21, 2021

The mockingbird was given its name because of its ability to mimic the calls of dozens of other bird species. The mockingbird has even been known to mimic the sounds of dogs and sirens!

Quick facts about the Northern Mockingbird

  • This is the Northern Mockingbird. It’s latin name is Mimus polyglottos, meaning “many-tongued mimic.”

  • They are best known for their ability to produce over 200 different calls, including mimicking other species such as insects, amphibians, and even car alarms!

  • The mockingbird is extremely intelligent. They are able to recognize individual people as a friend or foe based on how they are treated.

  • Mockingbirds mate for life. Males and females build the nest and raise the chicks together.

  • Two to six eggs are laid, and will hatch after two weeks.

  • Young birds are ready for independent life only ten days after birth.

  • Mocking birds reach sexual maturity at the age of one year. They can survive 8 years in the wild, and up to 20 in captivity.

  • The mockingbird’s main predators are domestic cats, red-tailed hawks, and crows. However, their tenacity and defensive behavior makes them less likely to be preyed upon.

  • These birds have adapted to urban settings well. Studies have shown that mockingbirds have a higher survival rate in urban areas than non-urban areas.

  • Thomas Jefferson even had a pet mockingbird named “Dick”!


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