The Northern Mockingbird is the only mockingbird commonly found in North America. It breeds in southeastern Canada, the United States, northern Mexico, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and the Greater Antilles. It is replaced further south by its closest living relative, the Tropical Mockingbird. The Socorro Mockingbird, an endangered species, is also closely related.
This bird is mainly a permanent resident, but northern birds may move south during harsh weather. This species has occurred in Europe as an extreme rarity.
Northern Mockingbirds eat mainly insects in summer but switch to eating mostly fruit in fall and winter. These birds forage on the ground or in vegetation; they also fly down from a perch to capture food. They mainly eat insects, berries and seeds. While foraging they frequently spread their wings in a peculiar two-step motion to display the white patches. There lacks consensus among ornithologists over whether this behavior is purely a territorial display, or whether the flashing white patches startles insects into giving up their cover.
Mockingbirds' willingness to nest near houses, their loud and frequent songs, and their territorial defense often annoy people.