mockingbird


mockingbird
/mok"ing berrd'/, n.
1. any of several gray, black, and white songbirds of the genus Mimus, esp. M. polyglottos, of the U.S. and Mexico, noted for their ability to mimic the songs of other birds.
2. any of various related or similar birds, as Melanotis caerulescens (blue mockingbird), of Mexico.
[1670-80, Amer.; MOCKING + BIRD]

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Any of several New World birds of a family (Mimidae) known for their mimicry of birdsong.

The common, or northern, mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) can imitate the songs of 20 or more species within 10 minutes. About 10 in. (27 cm) long, it is gray, with darker, white-marked wings and tail. It ranges from the northern U.S. to Brazil; it has been introduced into Hawaii and thrives in suburban areas. It sings from perches, even at night, and vigorously defends its territory. Other Mimus species range from Central America to Patagonia, and the blue mockingbird (genus Melanotis) inhabits much of Mexico. Various subspecies of the Galápagos mockingbird (genus Nesomimus) inhabit the different islands.

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bird
 any of several versatile songbirds of the New World family Mimidae (order Passeriformes). The common, or northern, mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) is well known as a mimic; it has been known to imitate the songs of 20 or more species within 10 minutes. It is 27 cm (10.5 inches) long and gray with darker wings and tail both marked with white. It ranges from the northern United States to Mexico—or to Brazil, if the tropical mockingbird (M. gilvus) is considered a race rather than a separate species—and has been introduced into Hawaii. It thrives in suburban areas. This bird sings from high perches and vigorously defends its territory; it may even sing at night.

      Other species of Mimus range from Central and South America to Patagonia, and the blue mockingbird (Melanotis) inhabits much of Mexico. The Galapagos mockingbird (Nesomimus) has various races or subspecies on the different islands, showing an adaptive radiation similar to, but not as extreme as, that found in the Galapagos finch.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mockingbird — «Mockingbird» …   Википедия

  • mockingbird — mockingbird, mocking bird mocking bird . (Zo[ o]l.), A long tailed gray and white songbird of North America ({Mimus polyglottos}), remarkable for its exact imitations of the notes of other birds. Its back is gray; the tail and wings are blackish …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • mockingbird — (n.) also mocking bird, 1670s, from mocking (adj.), 1520s, from prp. of MOCK (Cf. mock) (v.) + BIRD (Cf. bird) (n.1). Earlier form was mock bird (1640s) …   Etymology dictionary

  • mockingbird — ► NOUN ▪ a long tailed American songbird, noted for its mimicry of the calls of other birds …   English terms dictionary

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  • Mockingbird — For other uses, see Mockingbird (disambiguation). This article is about family of birds. For the bird found in United States and Canada, see Northern Mockingbird. Mockingbird Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos …   Wikipedia

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  • mockingbird — UK [ˈmɒkɪŋˌbɜː(r)d] / US [ˈmɑkɪŋ ˌbɜrd] noun [countable] Word forms mockingbird : singular mockingbird plural mockingbirds a small white and grey North American bird that copies the songs of other birds …   English dictionary

  • mockingbird — [[t]mɒ̱kɪŋbɜː(r)d[/t]] mockingbirds N COUNT A mockingbird is a grey bird with a long tail which is found in North America. Mockingbirds are able to copy the songs of other birds …   English dictionary


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