Scruffy and nearly bald, baby birds hit the ground hopping

  • Tuesday, July 29, 2014

NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD’S ARE abundant this time of year. This baby Northern Mockingbird poses for a morning photo while waiting on breakfast. PHOTO BY MICHAELE DUKE

A baby Northern Mockingbird, with its scrubby waits patiently for breakfast. Mockingbirds are abundant throughout America. Mockingbirds are known for their long repertoire of songs. According to Cornell Lab of Ornithology, a male mockingbird can learn around 200 songs throughout its life.

Besides singing throughout the day they can continue into the night and especially during a full moon.

Although Mockingbirds have many songs, a male may have two distinct repertoires of songs: one for spring and another for fall. They typically sing from February through August and again from September to early November.

During the 1800s the bird became a favorite caged pet. It nearly vanished from parts of the East Coast because of people taking the nestlings ad trapping the birds which could fetch as much as $50 each.

A female mockingbird will lay two to six pale blue or greenish white splotched with red or brown eggs. A pair of mockingbirds can raise two to three broods.

Females may start laying in a second nest while the male is still caring for fledglings from the previous one.

The one pictured was hatched in July.

Mockingbirds are very territorial. They can be seen harassing other birds who enter their territory and often grapple with his opponent in very aggressive manner. They are also known to swoop down and take a stab at a dog, cat or even as human head.

According to the North American Breeding Bird Survey, Northern Mockingbird populations declined by about 20 percent from 1966 to 2010. They rate eight out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and are not on the 2012 Watch List.

The Northern Mockingbird is a focal species for NestWatch, a nationwide monitoring program designed to track status and trends in the reproductive biology of birds, including when nesting occurs, number of eggs laid, how many eggs hatch, and how many hatchlings survive.

Learn how to find nests and report your observations at NestWatch by visiting www.nestwatch.org.

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