Photo courtesy Pete Williams, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Copyright (c) 2007 Pete Williams
The Northern Mockingbird is a fairly large bird, reaching an overall length of 11 to 12 inches. To identify look for a bird that is gray above, whitish below, has a long tail and blackish-white wing patches. There is no eye mask. Its preferred habitat is open areas, farmland, suburbs, parks, and scrubby growth near water.
Within its range the mockingbird is much more common than the similarly colored Shrikes. It is best known for its song, which may be heard day or night. Typically the bird repeats a phrase over and over, then drops that phrase and goes on to another. Often the phrases are imitations of other birds' songs, and "mockers" have also been known to sound like frogs, crickets, and dogs, among others. They do not need a recent reminder, but can remember phrases for several months.
Photo courtest Donna Bell, Flomaton, Alabama
Copyright (c) 2005, Donna Bell