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All About Birds
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mockingbird" The mockingbird is a common songbird that is found across North America. It lives in a variety of habitats, including farmlands, roadsides, thickets, and towns. The mockingbird is the state bird of Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas.

Song: The mockingbird has a variety of calls. It mimics many other birds' calls and the sounds of other animals (including insects), and can sing loudly for hours. An individual mockingbird can know dozens or hundreds of different songs. The mockingbird's scientific name, Mimus polyglottos (genus and species), means "Mimic of many tongues" in Greek.

Anatomy: The mockingbird is from 9 to 11 inches (23 - 28 cm) long. It has a slim body, a long bill and a relatively long tail (up to 6 inches = 15 cm long). The wing span is 13 to 15 inches (33-38 cm). It weighs from 1 to 2 ounces (28-56 g). The mockingbird is mostly gray, with large white patches on the wings and tail. Males and females are similar in appearance. The juvenile has a spotted breast.

Diet: The mockingbird eats fruit, insects (like grasshoppers and beetles), spiders, and other small animals (like crayfishes, snails, lizards and snakes).

Nest and Eggs: The mockingbird's nest is made of twigs, moss, and grass, and is lined with feathers. The nest is from 3 to 10 feet (1-3 m) high, located in trees and shrubs. The female lays 3 to 6 greenish eggs with dark spots in each clutch (a set of eggs laid at one time). Mockingbirds will ferociously protect their eggs and young; they will even swoop down and attack cats or people.

1. What does the mockingbird's scientific name, Mimus polyglottos, mean? ____________________________

2. How many different songs can a mockingbird learn? ____________________________

3. Why would a mockingbird attack a cat? ____________________________

4. What color are mockingbird eggs? ____________________________

5. What do mockingbirds eat? ____________________________

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