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Northern Mockingbird

Mimus polyglottos ORDER: PASSERIFORMES FAMILY: MIMIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Northern Mockingbird Photo

If you’ve been hearing an endless string of 10 or 15 different birds singing outside your house, you might have a Northern Mockingbird in your yard. These slender-bodied gray birds apparently pour all their color into their personalities. They sing almost endlessly, even sometimes at night, and they flagrantly harass birds that intrude on their territories, flying slowly around them or prancing toward them, legs extended, flaunting their bright white wing patches.

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Birds of North America Online

Backyard Tips

Northern Mockingbirds are common in backyards, but they don’t often visit feeders. You can encourage mockingbirds to visit your yard by keeping an open lawn but providing fruiting trees or bushes, including mulberries, hawthorns, and blackberry brambles.

Find This Bird

Look for Northern Mockingbirds sitting high on tall shrubs, poles, or utility lines. Around your yard, you can also look for them running or hopping along your mowed lawn. You may be able to first identify the presence of a Northern Mockingbird by listening for its song which usually mimics numerous other birds at once.

Get Involved

The Northern Mockingbird is a focal species for NestWatch. Learn how to find nests and report your observations.

Enhance your yard for mockingbirds and other birds. Visit our web pages on attracting birds.

You Might Also Like

Explore sound and video recordings of Northern Mockingbirds from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Macaulay Library archive

Northern Mockingbird from Bent's Life Histories of North American Birds (1948)

Listen to the Mockingbird: Story in BirdScope