Northern Mockingbird

From Ohio History Central
Northern Mockingbird.jpg


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Scientific Name: Mimus polyglottos
Habitat: Towns, farms, roadsides and thickets
Adult Weight: 2.3 - 2.5 oz.
Adult Body Length: 9 - 11 inches
Nesting Period: April - June
Broods Per Year: 2, sometimes 3-4
Clutch Size: 3-5 eggs per clutch
Foods: Insects and fruits


The mockingbird often mimics the calls of other birds or common sounds heard in their territory. They will repeat notes and phrases several times before changing.


19th Century

Mockingbirds arrived in Ohio in the mid-1800s, remaining rare until the end of the century.

20th Century

The range of the mockingbird expanded in the early 1900s, becoming well established in the southern and central counties of Ohio. They reached the northeastern region by 1930.

When multiflora rose, a popular food source for many songbirds, was introduced over much of Ohio in the 1940s and 50s, the population and distribution of mockingbirds increased dramatically. Numbers peaked in the 1960s.

Severe winters in 1976-78 hurt mockingbird populations. Their habitat has also been changed with the decline of multiflora rose because it is no longer planted and much of it has been removed. Although their numbers have not recovered, they are still fairly common in the state.

See Also


  1. Peterjohn, John. The Birds of Ohio; Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN; 1989.