Deer in Spring Landscape

Northern Mockingbird

Mocking Bird, courtesy of Universal Pops flickr
Mocking Bird,
Courtesy of Universal Pops flickr

What do they look like?

The Northern Mockingbird is about 10" long (about the size of a robin) but is slimmer and has longer tail feathers. It is a dull gray with lighter gray under parts. The wings are darker gray with two bright white wing patches, which are very visible in flight.

Where are they found?

They are distributed throughout North America and found across the State of Maryland. They like living in various landscapes and gardens near houses in urban areas. They also like farmlands, edges of open woods and streamside thickets in the rural areas. They lay 2 to 6 eggs from March through August and are very aggressive towards anything that gets too close to their nesting territory.

What do they eat?

During the fall and winter mockingbirds prefer to eat wild fruits consisting of holly, pokeberry, blackberry, sumac and Virginia creeper and defend these areas aggressively. They eat insects all year long but especially during the breeding season.

What other kinds of mockingbirds live in Maryland?

The Northern Mockingbird is the only mockingbird that lives in Maryland although the Loggerhead Shrike is often mistaken for it.

I didn't know that!

The mockingbird is well known for mimicking many sounds. They can sing up to about 200 songs and can make sounds like insects and amphibians. They can also imitate sounds like a barking dog, farm animals and a squeaky hinge. Sometimes they sing all night.