Northern Mockingbird

A bird with a long black and white tail sits on a railing. The bird has a white body with the top part of the head gray.

NPS Photo

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos)

Length 9” Wingspan 11.5”
Short conical bill, medium stocky body, rounded wings, dark brown-gray color, cinnamon under tail, seen alone in the open and brush feeding on seeds, fruit, and insects.

This bird is a master mimicker! Throughout its lifetime it listens to other sounds around it – like birdsong, car alarms, and ambulances – and learns to imitate that sound. Then, it gathers up all the sounds it has learned to imitate and creates a repertoire – it puts these sounds in a sequence that it belts out loudly in a series of whistles and trills. The Northern Mockingbird will repeat each sound 2-6 times before shifting to a new sound in its arsenal, a pattern birders can learn to identify if they pay close attention.


Last updated: August 18, 2020

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1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive
San Diego, CA 92106


619 523-4285

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