One of the ultimate
imitators, the Northern Mockingbird is able to imitate not only the songs of
many species of birds, but may sometimes repeat other sounds from the meow of a
cat to the tinkle of wind chimes. The Northern Mockingbird is a bold
defender of its nest site, attempting to chase away anything (including people)
that come too close for its comfort. South Dakota is at the northern edge
of its range, although it has been expanding its range to the north in recent
decades. They are increasingly rare as one moves northward from the
Nebraska/South Dakota border.
Habitat: Prefers mixed habitats with open ground and dense
thickets and shrubs, including fencerows, riparian areas, residential areas, and
Diet: Mostly insects and fruit.
Will also occasionally eat earthworms, snails, and small amphibians and lizards.
Behavior: Does much of its foraging by walking on
the ground. Will also observe from a perch and fly out to capture
insects spotted on the ground or in vegetation below.
Nesting: June and July
Migration: Generally a permanent resident throughout its range, with some northern birds
moving south in the fall.
Bird Feeders: Will attend feeders for fruit, suet, and
Conservation Status: Northern Mockingbirds were once captured for
the pet trade, and wild populations sharply declined. They are now
expanding their range to the north and are increasing in numbers.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Northern Mockingbird"
eNature.com: Northern Mockingbird
Photo Information: February 1st, 2002
-- Las Vegas, Nevada -- Terry L. Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Northern Mockingbird photos.