Tennessee State Bird
Northern Mockingbird (common name)
Mimus polyglottos (scientific name)
The northern mockingbird is a medium-sized bird with long legs and tail and short, rounded wings. It has a light gray back and a whitish underside. Its wings and tail are darker gray with white patches. The mockingbird was adopted as state bird by Florida and Texas in 1927, Arkansas in 1929, Mississippi in 1944, and Tennessee in 1933. These states chose it for its beauty, its versatile song, and its prevalence throughout the South, especially around farms. Song is an essential part of the bird's mating process. Males use their song both to attract mates and to mark their territory. They sing often, both day and night. The mockingbird feeds on insects and seasonal fruit including blackberries, grapes, holly, prickly pears, pokeberries, and even poison ivy.
ALSO KNOWN AS
Mocker, American nightingale
This conspicuous bird is typically found singing while perched on fences, trees, or telephone wires; it can also be spotted running along the ground, alone or in pairs, foraging for food. Mockingbirds will aggressively chase intruders off their territory. Males perform a flight display to attract and court mates.
Northern mockingbirds are a common sight in residential areas, farmlands, orchards, parks, open grassy areas with thickets, and even brushy deserts. They prefer open areas and forest edges.
Range: From northern Utah to Newfoundland in the north, and south to Mexico.
Migration: Permanent resident.
Conservation status: LC (Least concern). The species is protected by the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Nesting Period: 12–13 days
Size of Clutch: 2–6 eggs
Incubation Period: 12–13 days
Egg Description: Light blue or greenish and speckled
Egg Size: 1.0 in (25 mm)
Loggerhead shrike, northern shrike, gray catbird, sage thrasher, Townsend's solitaire, blue-gray gnatcatcher
Click to enlarge an image
|Author: World Trade Press|