This observation documents a pair of Northern Mockingbirds caring for their fledgling young. The juvenile birds are fully feathered and and too big for their nest. Their plumage and coloration varies just slightly from the adults. Tail and flight feathers are shorter. The juvenile’s breast is covered with dark spots, and their beak is yellow rather than the dark gray of the adult birds.

The juvenile mockingbirds still respond to their parents by begging for food, and the adults readily feed their young. The immature birds spend much of their time on the ground, but can fly short distances.

This observation also documents the Northern Mockingbirds affinity for apples. They will pick little beak-shaped plugs of meat from an apple until there is nothing left but the apple peel. It is not clear whether they feed apples to their young, but it is possible. The adults were recorded feeding their young in the vicinity of an apple cache.

DateApril 25, 2012
Time of DayAfternoon
TemperatureWarm (70-89°F/21-32°C)
HabitatResidential-Single Family
Type of BehaviorCare of Young
ObserverChris Jackson

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