Friday, June 5

Mimicry I

A number of birds mimic others in their songs; Northern Mockingbird, Gray Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Eurasian Starling and Yellow-breasted Chat are good examples, and White-eyed Vireos include the call notes of other species in their songs.

This Northern Mockingbird was recorded along the New Jersey bayshore in May and can be heard mimicking in order of appearance Northern Flicker, American Kestrel, American Robin, Greater Yellowlegs, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Hairy Woodpecker, Virginia Rail, Carolina Wren, and Northern Cardinal.



Northern Flicker imitation








actual Northern Flicker






American Kestrel imitation








actual American Kestrel









Greater Yellowlegs imitation









actual Greater Yellowlegs










Ruby-throated Hummingbird and Hairy Wood-pecker imitation









actual Ruby-throated Hummingbird









actual Hairy Woodpecker










Virginia Rail imitation








actual Virginia Rail










White-eyed Vireos incorporate call notes into their songs.

This one starts off with a Common Yellowthroat call (Glassboro WMA, NJ, May):











actual Common Yellowthroat










and this one begins with a Hairy Woodpecker alarm (Parvin SP, NJ, Apr):












actual Hairy Woodpecker alarm










A song that starts with a Wood Thrush call (Glassboro WMA, NJ, May).












This song ends with Wood Thrush and Red-eyed Vireo calls (Glassboro WMA, NJ, May).












actual Wood Thrush alarm








actual Red-eyed Vireo call








This Yellow-breasted Chat repeatedly mimics crows, mostly American, which appear distant in the song (Rancocas SP, NJ, June).












Gray Catbird including Wood Thrush song notes in its song, as well as imitations of American Robin and Common Grackle (see also Mimid songs),(June, PA).












actual Wood Thrush







Blue Jays seem to mostly mimic hawks:

Red-shouldered Hawk imitation (May, NJ)














Red-tailed Hawk imitation (Jan, PA)


(Nov, NJ)













Cooper's Hawk imitation (Mar, PA).













Actual Cooper's Hawk (June, NJ)





Another Cooper's Hawk imitation (possibly Yellow-bellied Sapsucker)(Dec, NJ)













Ruby-crowned Kinglet with mimicry of a chickadee at 20s (migrant, Apr, PA).


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