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Northern Mockingbird


Video by Todd Ratermann

 

The mockingbirds in the video above were fighting in my yard. It was a pretty rough fight. They would ight like this for a minute or two, then they would fly to another part of my yard and fight some more. In the background sound you can hear another mockingbird singing. I think it is a female. 

The Northern Mockingbird is the state bird of Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.

The mockingbirds in our yard don't seem to visit our feeders very often. Probably because we are currently using the wild bird mix rather than black oil sunflower. I do seem them hovering to pick our suet feeders, and they eat the bread and popcorn we put out on the ground for birds. They also can be seen stealing dry dog food from our dogs bowl.

The white wing bands of a mockingbird are very distinctive during flight.

The mockingbird's nest pictured below was in our backyard in 2010 and only one of the three eggs hatched. This little guy did successfully fledge, and hung out around our house for a couple of weeks. The mockingbirds had built this nest in a large shrub, about 5' off of the ground. As you can see, the nest was made of small sticks and grass.

 

Wild foods include caterpillars, grasshoppers, ants, bees, fruits, and seeds.

 

Mockingbird Eggs
Photo Todd Ratermann

 
A great example of the sounds a mockingbird makes can be found on the video below.


Video by Todd Ratermann

 

Attracting Mockingbirds

Mockingbirds can be a beneficial bird to attract to your yard on many levels. Not only are they wonderful singers, they are also insectivores that can help protect your yard and garden from destructive pests like caterpillars and grasshoppers. 

Food sources that will attract mockingbirds are black oil sunflower seeds, stripped sunflower seeds, suet (especially those that include berries or sunflower seeds).

Mockingbirds like many other birds can be attracted to different types of landscaping. Our mockingbirds have always been attracted to our dogwood trees. They frequently nested in the dogwood trees in the spring, and were attracted by the dogwood seeds in the fall. Other trees I have seen them attracted to include crab apples, cherries, holly, blackberries, raspberries and thick shrubbery.

 

 
Species Similar to Mockingbird Include:
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • Gray Catbird
  • Northern Shrike
  • Sage Thrasher
  • Townsend's Solitaire

 


Related Links & Resources:
Wood Storks Nesting In Restored S. Georgia Wetland
Georgia Wildlife Management Areas
Oconee National Forest, Georgia


 
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