Mockingbirds Munch on Bugs

Mockingbirds are common in developed areas as well as open country and desert regions. They frequent parks, yards, farms -- wherever there are likely to be expanses of lawns and plantings of ornamentals and crops that attract insects. While they also love fruit, mockers concentrate on insects during the growing season when they are most available. They are dependable allies in the battle against pest insects in your yard as they scour their territory for bugs to feed to several broods over the summer.

Mockingbirds eat a wide variety of insects, preferring ants, all kinds of beetles and grasshoppers. They will go after them while in mid-flight or on the ground. Individual birds sometimes engage in "wing flashing" behavior, when feeding on a lawn or soil. Researchers think that the slow, jerky raising of their wings then lowering them, sometimes accompanied by flashing their tails, is a tactic to startle insect prey from protected sites in the lawn.

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