Northern mockingbirds are gray-white colored, medium-sized birds that are well-known for their fascinating mimicking ability.
Northern mockingbirds are also known as singing birds. These singing birds are omnivores and eat berries, fruits, earthworms, and arthropods.
The northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) is best known for singing and mimicking the voices of other animals. The scientific name of the northern mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos, is Latin for 'many tongued mimicking birds' as these birds can mimic up to 200 different types of sounds. The northern mockingbird is also very intelligent and can compose songs in phrases that it repeats two to six times. A study shows that it can also recognize individual humans. Although it does not mimic humans properly like parrots or corvids, it can imitate a few words spoken by humans. Keep reading to learn fascinating answers about mockingbird eggs!
After reading about the nesting habits of northern mockingbirds, also read about mockingbird nest and mockingbird symbolism here at Kidadl.
Do mockingbirds sit on their eggs?
Like every other avian animal, a female mockingbird also lays eggs from which young mockingbirds come to life in their wildlife habitat. As every other bird, a female mockingbird lays eggs in its nest which is generally 3-10 ft (1-3 m) above the ground and within its natural habitat. The eggs laid by the female mockingbird need to be incubated by both male and female parents.
Incubation is a part of hatching where male and female parents sit on the eggs to keep them warm. Parent birds need to provide warmth to their eggs to maintain a perfect temperature for baby mockingbirds. Female mockingbirds sit on the eggs to incubate them so that their young ones can come to life. They incubate the eggs for 11-13 days and when young mockingbirds emerge from the eggs, they leave the nest after another 12-13 days. They can fly properly only after a week when they leave the nest. Do you know that mockingbirds also sometimes abandon their offspring? This is a very rare case and only happens when the nest is disturbed by some predator or human or due to any other reason.
Many birds generally do not lay just one egg. Mockingbirds also do not lay just one egg at a time. They lay an average of four eggs at a time. They lay multiple eggs because the chances of getting them destroyed by someone are very high.
No parent wants their young ones to be killed by someone. These birds take care of their babies with great care. But since they are small birds and can’t fight with big predators like snakes, they have to abandon their babies sometimes. Cats pose the greatest threat to the mockingbird's eggs and nesting area, especially in suburban areas. If you are a cat owner and your garden has a mockingbird nest, then it is advised to keep your cats indoors. As a protective measure for these birds, it is illegal to kill them.
Where do mockingbirds lay eggs?
Mockingbirds lay eggs in the nest built by them with twigs and grass. They build nests generally at a height of about 3-10 ft (1-3 m) off the ground. But sometimes they can also build nests as high as 60 ft (18.2 m) off the ground. Nests are built by male mockingbirds, and female mockingbirds lay eggs in them. They stay together throughout the spring and summer seasons.
Male mockingbirds have to make more than one nesting territory, after which female mockingbirds select the best one out of all to lay eggs. These birds are very choosy in selecting a nesting area. They have to take measures against predators and all other threats. Northern mockingbirds, belonging to the family Mimidae, are threatened by snakes, squirrels, and cats.
The northern mockingbird generally lays eggs between the months of early April and July. Male birds start to build the nesting territory early in the month of February, and by the breeding season, female birds select one of the several nests made by the male ones.
What do mockingbird eggs look like?
Mockingbirds’ eggs are quite small and beautiful. They are about 0.8-1.2 in (2-3 cm) in length and about 0.6-0.8 in (1.5-2 cm) wide. Pretty small, no? This is because the bird itself is a very small one. A mockingbird has a wingspan of just 12-15 in (30.4-38 cm).
The eggs are blue or green in color, and can also be described as greenish-blue. You might think it is very odd to have blue-colored eggs. Well, the color of the eggshell depends on the type of bird. The eggs of mockingbirds have speckles or splotches (these are some spots on the eggshell) of brown color. This brown color is somewhat like a cinnamon brown. The egg of this bird looks quite attractive to everyone as it is very unique. They are so small, which adds to their cuteness. If you have ever seen these eggs, you know how mesmerizing they look.
Mockingbirds lay an average of four eggs in one brood. These eggs are then incubated by the female bird to provide the young ones with an appropriate temperature to hatch. The female mockingbird has to sit on the eggs for about 11-13 days.
After a period of 11-13 days of incubation, the eggs hatch, and new mockingbird chicks come out of the eggs. After 12 days of nourishment and feeding, chicks are referred to as fledglings. Northern mockingbirds are now taught to fly using their small wings by male mockingbirds. After a week of training, the fledglings are ready to fly. The parents make another nest and prepare for another winter season of brooding.
How often do mockingbirds lay eggs?
The frequency of laying eggs and producing young animals is different for every animal. Some animals give have babies only once every five years, while some reproduce five times a year. Mockingbirds lay eggs several times a year, which are collectively referred to as clutches.
One brood means one-time laying of eggs, hatching, and flying of their young ones. A mockingbird broods two to three times a year, and in every brood, this bird lays about three to five eggs. These eggs hatch and the fledglings are taught to use their wings. When their young ones learn how to fly and survive, they leave the nest and find their mating partner. Then, the old parents make new nests, lay more eggs and continue this breeding process.
Are mockingbirds territorial?
A territorial bird means that the bird has its own territory and has the capacity to defend it. In this reference, a northern mockingbird is definitely a territorial bird.
A northern mockingbird can become very aggressive during the nesting season to protect its eggs and chicks. A northern mockingbird can even fight with a dog or a cat to protect its territory.
Mockingbirds also behave territorially during the fall and winter seasons to keep food sources like fruits and berries under their control so they can maintain a continuous supply of food. This behavior is very necessary for these birds to face the unwanted scarcity of food in the fall and winter seasons. Generally, male birds protect the nesting area, and the female ones incubate the eggs. But in the absence of male birds, female birds can also protect their breeding territory from predators.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for mockingbird eggs then why not take a look at mockingbird call, or mockingbird facts.
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