Mockingbirds are best known for their ability to imitate the sounds of
other birds and insects. Sneaky little guys! They sing while in flight
and while perched. They tend to sing more at night than other mimicking
birds, such as the thrasher.
"Papa's gonna buy you a mockingbird, and if that mockingbird don't sing, papa's gonna buy you a diamond ring..." What a great nursery rhyme that includes this line about mockingbirds!
Mockingbirds are beautiful birds, about the size of a robin. They are slender, gray birds, with white stomachs and white patches on their wings and tails. They have a distinctly long tail. The white patches on their wings are clearly shown when they're in flight, and their wing beats are slow enough to be counted.
Mockingbirds can be found throughout most of the United States, except for the Northwest and the northern Midwest. Oddly, birds found in the western part of the range have been found to be less musical and less mimicking. A bird in Massachusetts was recorded and 36 songs from other species were recognized in its recordings.
Mockingbirds are very territorial. They prefer brushy habitats, and can also be found in residential areas. They lay 3-5 eggs a season. They are blue-green in color with brownish spots. They tend to nest in bushes or in a low tree. Baby mockingbirds can be found sitting up straight, sitting back to back and with their beaks pointed up at the sky. This helps protect them against predators, and allows them to be on the lookout for their mama bird when she is off gathering food for them.