Northern Mockingbird Flight Display

Northern Mockingbird parachuting down to a perchNorthern Mockingbird parachuting down to a perch – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 500, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

I have seen and heard more Northern Mockingbirds this year on Antelope Island State Park than any previous year since I moved to Utah. I have wondered if the mockingbirds are expanding their range northward due to the increasing temperatures that Utah and other states have been experiencing.

I have been enjoying listening to the Northern Mockingbirds mimic other species of birds, they seem to use the calls of Northern Flickers, Killdeer, Western Kingbirds and American Kestrels most often but they slide other birds songs in too. I have also been enjoying their flight displays and yesterday there was actually good light when I photographed the mockingbird above. This bird is parachuting back to the perch it jumped up from.

I think having the Great Salt Lake in the background is a unique setting and I love that beautiful blue.

Jumping Northern MockingbirdJumping Northern Mockingbird – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 400, +1.0 EV, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light, not baited or called in

In this frame the Northern Mockingbird had just about reached the apex of its leap from the Sagebrush it had been perched on. It was even singing as it jumped into the air.

There are two mockingbirds in the area where I photographed this songster and I suspect that they are a mated pair. I hope that there will soon be mockingbird fledglings to photograph too.


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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. Pingback: Bahama Mockingbirds

  2. That blue background so sets off their gray and white (which on a gray day would be lost). Good question about the increasing temps – the only mockingbird I’ve ever seen was in AZ. Hmmmm – food for thought. My favorite is that first shot – not an easy capture and as usual you did marvelous!

  3. Love the trampolining bird – thanks Patty for the analogy. Thank you Mia for the beauty.

  4. Great captures of a behavior I was unaware of — must visit Antelope Island soon. Found this interesting site on mockers:

  5. Jane Chesebrough

    I guess they can mock actions too,like a trampoline artist! Love the photos but it would be so much fun to be there to experience the display.

  6. Patty Chadwick

    Wonderful! Looks like that bird was having a greats time……on a trampoline,

  7. Beautiful shots, Mia!

  8. The contrasting colors of the bird really pop out against that beautiful blue background.

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