Tennessee State Bird

Tennessee state bird Northern MockingbirdMimus polyglottos

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Tennessee 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 ispale 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 same.


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 Tennessee 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 linedwith 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 is12 to 13 days.

A Few Things You Probably Didn't Know Aboutthe Tennessee State Bird:
  • The song of the Northern Mockingbird is, infact, 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 territorialand 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 ofteninto 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.

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