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Nature Journal - A Northern Mockingbird Singing In Our Garden



Did you know:


1. Northern Mockingbirds are not only talented mimics, but also skilled improvisers. They can create new variations of their songs by combining different sounds and sequences


2. Northern Mockingbirds are renowned for their incredible ability to mimic the sounds of other birds and even non-bird sounds, such as car alarms and cell phone ringtones. They can memorize and repeat hundreds of different songs and sounds.


3. Male Northern Mockingbirds sing loudly and frequently during the breeding season to attract mates and defend their territory. Their songs can be heard from up to 1,000 feet away.


4. Northern Mockingbirds are omnivorous and eat a wide variety of foods, including insects, berries, fruits, and seeds.


5. Northern Mockingbirds are known to recognize and reject Brown-headed Cowbird eggs from their nests. They are one of the few bird species that can consistently recognize and remove cowbird eggs, even if they have never encountered cowbirds before. Read more about Brown-headed Cowbird: Nature Journal - A Carolina Wren Feeding A Brown-Headed Cowbird baby (momosgarden.com)



Helpful Links:

  • Northern Mockingbird Overview: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Mockingbird/overview

  • Northern Mockingbird Sounds: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/northern-mockingbird#sound

  • How to Attract Northern Mockingbirds: https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-attract-mockingbirds-386418

  • Northern Mockingbird Nesting and Breeding: https://www.beautyofbirds.com/northernmockingbirds.html


Wildlife garden tips:

  • Northern Mockingbirds can live up to 20 years in the wild, making them one of the longest-lived songbirds in North America.

  • Northern Mockingbirds are very adaptable and can thrive in a variety of habitats, from urban parks and gardens to rural woodlands and deserts.

  • Northern Mockingbirds are cooperative breeders and sometimes form family groups that help raise the young. They can have up to four broods per year, each with two to six eggs.


Wildlife garden tips:

  • Northern Mockingbirds prefer to nest in shrubs or low trees, so provide suitable habitat for them to build their nests.


  • If you have a Northern Mockingbird nesting in your yard, be sure to give it plenty of space and avoid disturbing the nest. Northern Mockingbirds are fiercely protective of their young and may attack humans or pets that get too close.


  • Northern Mockingbirds are insectivores and will feed on a variety of insects, including beetles, grasshoppers, and spiders. If you want to attract Northern Mockingbirds to your yard, consider planting native plants that attract insects, such as butterfly weed or coneflowers.


  • Like many bird species, Northern Mockingbirds are susceptible to window collisions. To prevent collisions, consider installing window decals or using screens to break up the reflection of the sky in the glass.


  • Northern Mockingbirds are also vulnerable to predation from cats and other domestic animals. If you have a cat, be sure to keep it indoors or supervise it when it's outside to prevent it from preying on birds.


  • Finally, if you enjoy watching Northern Mockingbirds, consider participating in citizen science programs that track bird populations and behaviors, such as the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's eBird program. Your observations can help scientists better understand these fascinating birds and their ecology.


Northern Mockingbirds are a joy to observe and listen to in the garden. By creating a welcoming habitat with food, water, and nesting opportunities, you can enjoy their beautiful songs and entertaining mimicry year-round.

Helpful Links:


Northern Mockingbird Lifespan and Demography: https://www.beautyofbirds.com/northernmockingbirdslifespan.html

Northern Mockingbird Habitat and Distribution: https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/northern-mockingbird#habitat


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