Scientific name: Mimus polyglottos
The northern mockingbird is the only mockingbird commonly found in North America. This bird is mainly a permanent resident, but northern birds may move south during harsh weather. This species has rarely been observed in Europe. The northern mockingbird is known for its mimicking ability, as reflected by the meaning of its scientific name, 'many-tongued mimic.'
The northern mockingbird is an omnivore. It eats both insects and fruits. It is often found in open areas and forest edges but forages in grassy land. The northern mockingbird breeds in southeastern Canada, the United States, northern Mexico, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and the Greater Antilles.
The northern mockingbird is known for its intelligence and has also been noted in North American culture. A 2009 study showed that the bird was able to recognize individual humans, particularly noting those who had previously been intruders or threats. Also birds recognize their breeding spots and return to areas in which they had greatest success in previous years. Urban birds are more likely to demonstrate this behavior. Finally, the mockingbird has influenced United States culture in multiple ways. The bird is a state bird of five different states, has been used in book titles, and has also been used in popular songs and lullabies among other appearances in U.S. culture.
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