Northern Mockingbird: Dr J Murray Speirs

This is a common bird in much of the southern USA but it has been rare in Ontario (except around Niagara Falls and perhaps Pelee).

It appears to be more common now than formerly and keeps turning up in the most unexpected places. . It occupies somewhat of the same niche as the American Robin, eating insects and fruits and nesting about human habitations.

 

Both are bold, aggressive birds. The mockingbird tends to outcompete the robin in southern USA, with the reverse in more northerly climes.

This is a robin-sized bird, mostly gray with flashes of white in the wings and edge of the tail and whitish underparts. It looks a bit like the shrikes but lacks their black masks.

The song is a loud medley, with repeated phrases. Its scold note is a loud “tak” (like striking stones together).

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