The northern mockingbird is one of the most common songbirds in North America.
Step 1: Observe the bird's size and shape Consider the bird's appearance through binoculars and compare it with the pictures in your field guide. Northern mockingbirds have small heads; long, thin bills with slight downward curvature; and long legs.
Step 2: Observe the bird's color Consider the bird's color. Northern mockingbirds are gray-brown with two white wing bars on each wing. In flight the white wing bars show up as white flashes.
Step 3: Observe the bird's behavior Consider the bird's behavior. The northern mockingbird likes to perch atop high vegetation, fences, eaves, or telephone wires. On the ground, it runs or hops.
Step 4: Observe the bird's habitat Consider the habitat where the bird is observed. Northern mockingbirds are frequently found at low elevations in towns, suburbs, backyards, parks, forest edges, and open land.
TIP: The mockingbird is typically a year-round resident.
Step 5: Observe the bird's song Listen to the bird's song. The northern mockingbird's song consists of a variety of phrases, repeated two or more times, followed by a pause. The songs can last for 20 seconds or more.
FACT: When singing, mockingbirds frequently imitate other birds – and even frogs.