Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Northern Mockingbird

Another bird from our recent Washington, DC, trip was this Northern Mockingbird. This remarkably tame bird attracted us by expertly mimicking a Tufted Titmouse. Male mockingbirds often have repertoires of over 150 song types—a repertoire that increases with the bird’s age. They mimic both other birds and various mechanical sounds (such as trains or traffic).

Adults may spend the year in a single territory. Others enjoy different territories in winter and summer. Male and female mockingbirds split up parental care, with the female doing all the incubating and most of the brooding of young, and the male providing food. This division of labor allows them to produce up to four broods per season. Despite this fecundity, mockingbirds are declining in the south (but increasing northward) (Farnsworth et al. 2011).

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