Did you know that mockingbirds can sing over 200 songs? Or that they can tell the difference between different people? Keep reading! In this article, we’ll discuss these and other mockingbird key facts.
Quick Facts About Mockingbirds
|Type of Animal:||Bird: Passerine|
|Number of Species:||16|
|Physical Description:||Small to medium-sized passerine bird, gray in color, with darker banded wings, darker back, and lighter belly. They have yellow eyes and black beaks. Their wings are pointed for skillful aerodynamic flying and dive-bombing. Their eggs are pale blue to white in color and speckled brown.|
|Distribution:||Widely distributed throughout North, Central, and South America|
|Habitat:||Can live in a variety of urban, suburban, and rural habitats, including neighborhoods, parks, woodlands, wetlands, and grasslands.|
– 8 to 11 inches
– Weight: 1.5 to 2 ounces
|Diet:||Opportunistic omnivores; diet includes:|
– Fruits and berries
– Seeds and nuts
|Lifespan:||About 8 to 10 years|
|Endangered/Protected:||Not endangered; protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.|
What Are Mockingbirds?
Mockingbirds are any of about 16 species of passerine birds. Only one of these species, the northern mockingbird, is found in the United States, and the others are found throughout the American continents.
Mockingbirds can be found all over the U.S., especially in the south. Those living in the far northern parts of their range often migrate south for the winter.
Mockingbirds are known for mimicking other birds, animals, and even some inanimate objects such as car alarms and creaky gates. Both males and females sing, though the males sing louder and may learn up to 200 songs in their life.
Mockingbirds are medium-sized gray and white birds, darker on the back and lighter on the underside. They have white patches on the undersides of their wings which they display both during mating rituals and to fend off predators.
Mockingbirds eat many different kinds of food, including insects, soft-bodied invertebrates, lizards, fruit, berries, and seeds. They drink water from ponds, streams, birdbaths, and even dew on plants.
Mockingbirds typically mate for life and may raise multiple broods of 3 to 4 babies each in a single breeding season. Eggs hatch after about 12 days of incubating, and the young grow quickly, typically beginning to leave the nest after another 12 days or so.
Check out this video to learn more about these fascinating birds:
What Are Mockingbirds Known For?
- Mockingbirds are highly intelligent: They can tell humans apart, recognizing and targeting those that have disturbed them or their nests in the past while leaving other people alone. They can also recognize other animals and distinguish which ones pose the greatest threat.
- Mockingbirds are overprotective: These birds will attack potential invaders by dive-bombing. They do this to chase these invaders away from their nest or territory.
- Mockingbirds are the state bird of five states: these states are Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida, and Mississippi.
- Mockingbird populations were once greatly diminished by the pet trade. In fact, they were so popular because of their singing and mimicking abilities that, in the 1800s, some people would pay up to $50 (the equivalent of $1,300 today) for a single domesticated mocker.
- Mockingbirds are found in every state in the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii.
Mockingbirds are known for singing many different songs, imitating birds, animals, and other sounds, and for dive-bombing potential predators (including humans) that get too close to their nest. Though their range was once limited to the southeast, they are now found all over the United States.