Friday, 12 December 2014

Northern Mockingbird (Moqueur polyglotte)

Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
Toronto, ON
12 December 2014

     I have fond memories of making a regular annual trip in years past to Niagara-on-the-Lake to find three specialty birds for the Province of Ontario, Red-bellied Woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus, Tufted Titmouse Parus bicolor and Northern Mockingbird.

Northern Mockingbird

     This was the only area in the province where one could reliably expect to find, after a little searching to be sure, these three species normally associated with more southerly regions.
     Now the distribution of all three species has become far more widespread, and Northern Mockingbird may regularly be encountered in the Toronto area, and several confirmed nesting sites have been documented. There are a couple of spots where I am quite certain of locating this species if I take the time to search diligently, or, if as was the case this morning, it comes to greet me almost as soon as I park the car. Humber Bay Park West was where I found this individual today.

     It was feeding on the berries seen in the pictures, and for the longest time was half-hidden, as it found the most appealing part of the crop I suppose. Finally it moved upwards and posed briefly for the photographs you see here.
     It is a handsome bird, characterized by large white wing patches when it flies, but capturing a mockingbird in flight is far from easy. 
     So far the winter has been quite benign, but even through last year's brutal conditions, the species seemed to survive and by now no doubt has a population acclimatized to our conditions.
     As regards the other two species mentioned above, Red-bellied Woodpecker, has become quite common in many areas, and we have even had it visit our backyard feeders on a few occasions. Tufted Titmouse is nowhere common in the province, but it can be encountered with a reasonable degree of regularity in Haldimand County.
     The other area I have often encountered Northern Mockingbird in the Toronto region is Colonel Samuel Smith Park, but this morning I was unsuccessful. The following shots show the extent of the snowfall experienced yesterday.

     Winter is part of what makes us Canadian and today was a classic day; sunny, bright and the temperature slightly below freezing; a day to be enjoyed by mockingbird and human alike.


  1. It does look like a beautiful winter's day - something I used to enjoy when I spent a winter in southern Norway when I was younger. It is interesting too how you've noticed the extension of range of these species too - the same sort of thing is happening in southern Australia too. It's maybe a benefit of global warming!

  2. Yes, a truly beautiful winter's day. We had a Tufted Titmouse up here a couple of years ago, about this time of year. Only one I've ever seen!

  3. Oh wow, that scenery brings back memories and makes my heart pang a little bit. Interesting that these birds are increasing their distribution into Canada, and yes, perhaps climate change does play into this sort of thing!?

  4. Your lovely images mentally transport me to Canada, David. Crisp, cold sunny days like this take a lot of beating, don't they! Sadly, too many of our winter days over here are damp and murky. Today's looking promising, however, with the sun about to come up and minus 2 C outside.

  5. Hello David,
    It looks like a beautiful winter day.
    Lots of sun to see.
    Photo 1 and 3 are my favorite.
    A very good weekend.

  6. Great shots of the Mocker! And the landscape shots are pretty, a winter wonderland. Happy weekend!

  7. Espectacular el Northern Mockingbird, me encantaría poder verlo algún día. Saludos desde España.

  8. I could manage that as slightly below freezing and bright sunshine. It's the grey stuff and the wind I hate. It's good to see your Mockingbird. As you say David,a very attractive species.

  9. These images bring back memories,fantastic to see.
    Great captures.

  10. Beautiful winter photos, I can not wait until it snows here;-))
    Greetings Tinie

  11. It's really a beauty, David, the Mockingbird. Fantastic that you have found him. The picture with the bird and the berries is my favorite. Great series. I hope we get a little bit of snow this winter. Not too much and not too long, but last winter we had nothing. Hardly frost and no snow. Greetings, Joke

  12. Beautiful pictures, especially the former. Regards.

  13. What cool to see that there is so much snow you. Picture also so beautiful:-) You've seen different birds on your trip and leave you see the Northern Mockingbird. What a beautiful bird is this. Beautiful and soft color in its feathers

  14. Oh dear David, this first photo is a real Xmas card!
    The colors of building in the background curiously adds to the whole picture!
    And you landscape photos are magnificent, pure white snow and blue skies are a sight I haven't seen in years!
    A lovely post!

  15. What winter in your area.
    In my surroundings positive temperature and rainfall.

  16. Beautiful winters day, there are plenty of birds too.

  17. their pictures are very beautiful
    some look like movie sets
    I thank very your comments and your visits to my space
    well there

  18. Hello David and Miriam. The male stays behind to keep the home and environs safe from intruders in readiness to welcome his mate back. Meanwhile the female flies off to sunnier climes to enjoy herself with another summer.

    Of course while the cat is away the mouse might play and on her return the original female may find herself replaced by a younger and prettier replica.

  19. Lovely bird and nice pictures. Merry Xmas.. Cheers!!!