Northern Mockingbird

Birds That Look Like Mockingbirds: How to Identify Them?

The Northern Mockingbird is a medium-sized passerine bird of the family Mimidae, native to the United States, Mexico and Central America. It has grayish plumage on its upperbody with pale grey almost white underparts; two long tail feathers; as well as distinctive patterns of stripes and spots across its wings.

These birds are most noted for their habit of singing in groups, imitating other birds or sounds like insects or machinery that can be an annoyance when they nest near human residences.

Mockingbirds are a type of bird that can be easily confused with other types of birds. They have long, pointed wings and tails, which distinguish them from many other species. However, they also resemble many birds that resemble can resemble them at first glance.

If you’ve ever been confused about the difference between a mockingbird and other birds that look like them, then this article is for you. This post will help clarify the distinctions between these types of birds so that you can easily identify them.

Northern Shrike

Northern Shrikes are in the same family as mockingbirds but with some major differences. One of these differences is that Northern Shrikes have a bigger head, black wings, and a hooked bill. They also have dark gray feathers on their back and light gray feathers on their belly. They have white patches on their tail feathers which is what gives them their name.

These birds will spend most of their time hunting for food by searching through foliage or catching insects in flight. Their diet consists mostly of insects such as spiders, ants, wasps and beetles but also consumes arthropods such as millipedes and centipedes.

They also feed on small vertebrates like lizards or frogs when they can be found  The Northern Shrike can be found in North America from Alaska to Mexico and Central America down to Panama. 

Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird
Image by Scottslm from Pixabay

Northern Mockingbirds are bigger than Gray Catbirds with a lighter colored belly. They also have two wingbars that are white, that Gray Catbirds don’t. Gray Catbird’s natural habitat is forests, gardens and orchards while Northern Mockingbird’s natural habitat is open areas near woodland or farmland.

There isn’t much of a difference in their diet, they both eat mostly insects like grasshoppers, and caterpillars and even beetles, but the Northern Mockingbird can be found searching for their food on trees and bushes. 

Gray Catbird is the state bird of Massachusetts and they’re all over New England, but it’s hard to find Northern Mockingbirds in this area because they’re found more on the eastern coast of North America

Townsends Solitaire

The Townsend’s Solitaire is from the thrush family. They are gray with lighter underparts, long tail with white streaks, black wings that have a yellow-brown pattern. Its shape and color markings look like a Mockingbird but is smaller.

Townsend’s solitaire natural habitat which can be found throughout eastern North America including all of Canada to southern New England. Townsends Solitaires have been known to travel long distances when it comes to food sources such as juniper berries.

Their diet consists of insects, spiders, berries during winter months when food sources are scarce​​​​​​​, or its favorite juniper’s ripe which they can find during their travels from year-round or migrate from one place to another​​​​​​​

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

The blue-gray gnatcatcher is a small bird that lives in North America. It is one of the most common birds in the eastern and central United States, but it can also be found as far west as southern California.

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers look similar to mockingbirds but are smaller, and are light blue-gray, with​​​​​​​  with grayish-white underparts, a black tail with white edges. They have thin pointed bills that they use for catching insects in flight.​​​​​​​

They are known for their territorial nature and they do not mix with other species of birds when nesting or feeding on food sources. Gnatcatchers love insects and mainly eat beetles, moths, butterflies), flies, ants, bees, wasps and spiders. These cute little birds also enjoy eating fruit like berries or figs

Sage Thrasher

The Sage Thrasher is a medium-sized bird with grayish brown upperparts and whitish underparts. It has thin streaks on the breast, with red orange-tinged flanks. They are found in desert scrub and open grassland areas in the western United States, Mexico, Central America and South America.

The sage thrasher is a bird that lives primarily in deserts or semiarid regions where it forages for insects by day but roosts on or near ground level​​​​​​​. 

It is often mistaken for a mockingbird, but has distinctive markings on its breast and underside that help it stand out from other birds.​​​​​​​ One way to tell them apart is by their size, as they are slightly bigger with a shorter tail, and shorter bill.​​​​​​​

Loggerhead Shrike

The Loggerhead Shrike is a songbird found in North America. They are found all over the continent and have been spotted as far north as Alaska. They are most common to the Eastern United States and live on farms, prairies, orchards, and old fields. The Loggerhead Shrike is a small, gray bird with black wings and white underparts.

They have black masks, a black tail, hooked bills and strong feet for capturing prey. Mockingbirds are often confused with the loggerhead shrikes because of their similar color patterns and habitat preference; however mockingbirds have much smaller head sizes and different beaks. ​​​​​​​

This bird has an interesting way of imitating other birds songs by making sounds with its voice box while they put their head back. This is called ‘vocal mimicry’. They are capable of imitating the sound of mockingbirds, they also imitate redwings, brown thrashers, hermit thrushes and others by creating similar sounding calls as well as trills.