/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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 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.

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