AskDefine | Define mockingbird

Dictionary Definition

mockingbird n : long-tailed gray-and-white songbird of the southern United States able to mimic songs of other birds [syn: mocker, Mimus polyglotktos]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

mockingbird
  1. A long-tailed American songbird of the Mimidae family, noted for its ability to mimic calls of other birds.

Translations

Extensive Definition

Mockingbirds are a group of New World passerine birds from the Mimidae family. They are best known for the habit of some species mimicking the songs of other birds, often loudly and in rapid succession. There are about 17 species in three genera. These do not appear to form a monophyletic lineage: Mimus and Nesomimus are quite closely related; their closest living relatives appear to be some thrashers, such as the Sage Thrasher. Melanotis is more distinct; it seems to represent a very ancient basal lineage of Mimidae.(Hunt et al. 2001, Barber et al. 2004)

References

  • Barber, Brian R.; Martínez-Gómez, Juan E. & Peterson, A. Townsend (2004): Systematic position of the Socorro mockingbird Mimodes graysoni. J. Avian Biol. 35: 195-198.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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