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Despite its name, the northern mockingbird lives across much of the United States, with a presence in all of the southern states. This bird, which has a very territorial nature, is known for its aggressive behavior.
Cats, dogs, people, other birds and other creatures that venture too close to the mockingbird's nest for the bird's comfort frequently receive a rude welcome. The mockingbird will fly at and around any intruder. Mockingbirds sometimes run at intruders while they are still on the ground.
Mockingbird Versus Mockingbird
Mockingbirds are territorial and they will attempt to defend their areas against other mockingbirds. The same sexes typically take each other on, with the males battling any male mockingbirds that cross into their territory and females trying to run off other females. The encounters between males can escalate into all-out fights with sparring birds deploying their claws and using their bills. Often, one of the birds will simply retreat to avoid a fight.
Mockingbirds will sometimes mistake their reflections in hubcaps, mirrors and windows. The birds think what they see is an invader and they then attempt to drive it away. In the process, they can severely injure or even kill themselves, notes the "National Audubon Society Field Guide to Birds."
- Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds: Northern Mockingbird
- "National Audubon Society Field Guide to Birds"; John Bull and John Farrand Jr.; 2008
John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. A Connecticut native, his work specializes in sports, fishing and nature. Lindell worked in greyhound racing for 25 years.