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Species Profile: Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)

The Northern Mockingbird is a common resident in urban as well as rural areas in Florida. As it name suggests, this bird has an amazing talent to imitate sounds, and has been proven that it can imitate the songs of other birds. In fact, records show some individuals that could imitate more than 55 different songs, and some other sounds such as alarms, frogs and even barking dogs. This bird is also the state bird of Texas, Mississippi and Arkansas. Mockingbirds are extremely territorial specially when their favorite tree is producing fruits, they will chase any bird that comes close to feed. During breeding is common to find males chasing each other to define and protect their territory.

Habitat

Lives most of the time in shrubs and trees of suburban areas, county parks and near edges of open woods.

Feeding Habits

While mockingbirds are mostly dependant on insects during the summer, they switch to a fruit diet during the winter and early spring months. Wild fruits make up to 43% of their diet.Some of their favorite fruits include dahoon holly, several species of palms and brazilian pepper. Unfortunately they help to spread this unwanted invasive. It is believed that they raise their wings while on the ground to flush insect prey.

Reproduction

Nest is built by both sexes in trees or in the fork of small bushes between 3-10ft. high. THe nest consist of a round platform of twigs lined with dried leaves or natural fibers. They normally lay 3-4 eggs between Mar. and Aug.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Northern Mockingbird

A northern mockingbird on brazilian pepper and invasive plant they consume during the winter.

The wing spread is a common behavior of the northern mockingbird, but its purpose is unknown. Some speculate this is a way to communicate, while others claim is used to scare off bugs they can easily target as prey.
Mockingbirds are extremely jealous of their feeding trees and will chase any intruders at all cost.

 

115 Lameraux Road ∙ Winter Haven, Florida 33884 (863) 259-8497