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Northern Mockingbird

Silhouette MockingbirdsMockingbirds
Northern MockingbirdMimus polyglottos
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Mimidae

Basic Description

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.

More ID Info
image of range map for Northern Mockingbird
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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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.

Other Names

  • Sinsonte Norteño (Spanish)
  • Moqueur polyglotte (French)

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 out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

  • Cool Facts