Mississippi State Bird Northern MockingbirdMimus polyglottos
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Mississippi State Bird Description:
Size: 8 to 10 inches (21-26 cm)
Wingspan: 12 to 14 inches (31-35 cm)
Weight: 1.59 to 2.05 ounces (45-58 g)
The Northern Mockingbird is a medium sized songbird. It is
pale grey on the top and white below with two white wing bars and large
white patches that are visible on the wings during flight. The tail
is long with white outer tail feathers. The males and the females look
The Northern Mockingbird lives in thickets, woodland edges, parks and
gardens. They tend to favour more open areas, open grounds and shrubby
vegetation. They are also found in towns.
The Mississippi state bird can be found from southern Canada, southward
to southern Mexico and the Caribbean. They are also found in Bermuda
and Hawaii. They breed from northern California, eastern Nebraska,
Southern Ontario and Atlantic Canada southward to southern Mexico.
Forages on the ground and from perches. Picks fruit while perched on
branch, but may hover to get some fruit. Also eats
berries, spiders and insects (beetles, ants, bees, wasps, and
grasshoppers), earthworms and small lizards.
Northern Mockingbirds use several nests during the breeding season,
laying 2 or 4 eggs in each nest. Each mating pair produces 2 or 3
broods per season, and the male cares for the fledglings while the
female incubates the next clutch.
Nests are open cup style. They are made from dead
twigs lined with grasses, rootlets, and dead leaves. They are constructed
low in shrubs and trees, usually 3-10 feet high.
The clutch contains 2 to 4 eggs and the incubation period is
12 to 13 days.
A Few Things You Probably Didn't Know About the Mississippi
The song of the Northern Mockingbird is, in
fact, a medley of the calls of many other birds. Each imitation is
repeated two or three times, then another song is started, all in rapid
succession. It is common for an individual bird to have as many as
25-30 songs in its repertoire.
Northern Mockingbirds are highly territorial
and may attack any intruder, including mammals. It's often seen
chasing large birds such as crows and hawks away from its nest.
It sings all through the day, and often
into the night. Most nocturnal singers are unmated males, which
sing more than mated males during the day, too. Nighttime singing is
more common during the full moon. In well-lit areas around people, even
mated males may sing at night.