Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Robert T. Maytum
Photo Courtesy of Robert T. Maytum

The northern mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos, occurs throughout the United States, most of the Caribbean islands, and most of Mexico. It is uncommon to common throughout Utah in summer, being more abundant in the southern part of the state than in the north. It is less common in Utah during winter - rare in the northern and central parts of the state, but a permanent resident in at least southwestern Utah. Its habitats include open areas with scattered trees, farmlands, second growth areas, and residential neighborhoods, all at low elevation. This thrasher is omnivorous, consuming a wide variety of arthropods and fruits, as well as earthworms and occasionally even small lizards.

The nest, constructed by both the male and the female, is almost always in a tree or shrub, typically three to ten feet above the ground. The two to six eggs (usually three or four) are incubated by the female parent for twelve to thirteen days. Both parents feed the nestlings, which normally leave the nest twelve days after hatching.

Both the common and scientific names of this bird refer to its ability to imitate the songs and calls of other birds.


  • Derrickson, K. C., and R. Breitwisch. 1992. Northern mockingbird. Birds of North America 7: 125.

  • Behle, W. H., E. D. Sorensen, and C. M. White. 1985. Utah birds: a revised checklist. Utah Museum of Natural History, University of Utah, Salt Lake City. vi + 108 pp.