What do Mockingbirds Eat? Here’s What Their Diet Look Like

What do Mockingbirds Eat

Mockingbirds belong to the family of Mimidae and have 17 species. These birds are native to America only and there are only a few sightings anywhere else in the world.

These birds are known for their vocal mimics that are capable of advanced vocalizations and copying the sounds from the environments. These birds are flexible and adaptable.

But do these birds live by eating insects only? Or do they prefer plants as well? What is the diet of mockingbirds? There are many questions related to the mockingbirds.

The mockingbirds are omnivorous birds and they prefer eating insects, fruits, berries, or flowers. And In this article, I’ve explained all the facts related to the diet of mockingbirds in detail. 

What Do Mockingbirds Eat? 

Mockingbirds are omnivorous and they generally eat a vast range of insects, arthropods, seeds, flowers, and various invertebrates. The Northern mockingbirds are proficient at hunting small lizards. These birds also feed: 

  • Seeds
  • Fruits
  • Flowers 
  • Caterpillars
  • Bees
  • Ants
  • Grasshoppers
  • Cicadas
  • Worms
  • Crickets

The diet of the Northern mockingbirds consists of 50% plant foods and 50% meat but in the breeding season, these birds consume more arthropods and invertebrates than plants.

In the winter season, there is a scarcity of insects which means that they do have to consume more plants.

The foraging behavior of these birds is flexible and they are also agile insect hunters who can catch flying insects in fast aerial pursuits.

Even many species of mockingbirds feed on garden bird feeders when they found one. 

What do baby mockingbirds eat?

Generally, the baby mockingbirds are fed soft arthropods and invertebrates including various larvae, caterpillars, and various larvae and the beetle larvae can make up the majority of their diet.

The diet of these birds shifts to fruits and seeds after a few days. In the case of both of the mockingbirds, both the parents feed the nestlings.

The Northern mockingbirds were also observed feeding their nestling the meat from small lizards. These birds makes effort to feed nestlings in equal proportions and regardless of the size or gender nestling. 

What do mockingbirds eat in the winter?

During the winter season, the mockingbirds, particularly those that are distributed in the north, generally, the diet consists of fruit.

Some studies suggested that during the winter season, 10% to 15% of the Northern mockingbird’s diet is made up of animals.

While the rest of their diet consists of seeds, fruits, and other nutritious foliage. But the seasonal difference is less for the mockingbirds of South America. 

What do mockingbirds eat in the summer?

During the summer season, most mockingbird species usually feed on insects.

The diet of Northern Mockingbirds consists of 85% insects which get reduced to 15% in the winter. This kind of seasonal variation is observed in the diet of most species of mockingbirds. 

Do mockingbirds eat seeds?

Mockingbirds do eat seeds but they usually prefer fruits or berries, instead of dry plant food like grains and seeds.

During the winter season, the mockingbirds are usually found to eat from ground feeders but get more attracted to fruits. They prefer wetter foods but can also eat seeds or grains. 

Do mockingbirds eat snakes?

Mockingbirds can hunt and eat small lizards, therefore, they are also capable of hunting small snakes. But there is little evidence to support it.

If a snake came closer to a mockingbird’s nest, these birds surely attempt to keep them away and may use dive-bombing or claws for swiping it. 

Do mockingbirds eat mealworms?

Generally, mockingbirds consume mealworms and they love it. They prefer mealworms alive but they can also eat dried mealworms.

They can get easily attracted to mealworms placed on garden bird feeders or tables in winter. 

Do mockingbirds eat hummingbirds?

There is no evidence that the mockingbirds do eat hummingbirds, or any other bird or their eggs. They do eat insects, arthropods, and even marine invertebrates like shrimps and crayfish.

But they don’t tend to eat birds. Mockingbirds are territorial and become aggressive both towards each other and other small bird species.

But these birds are not known for killing or eating other birds or their babies. However, these birds do protect their nest aggressively and can even attack a human. 

Do mockingbirds eat spiders? 

Mockingbirds do eat a variety of other insects, arthropods, invertebrates, and non-poisonous spiders. These birds hunt them and kill them before being eaten. 

Do mockingbirds eat grapes?

During the winter season, the mockingbirds are great fruit eaters including grapes. It is so because insects are scarce during this season. 

Do mockingbirds eat acorns?

Mockingbirds do not eat acorns and it is pretty challenging for them. The beaks of these birds are thin, slender, and precise which is best for plucking berries or catching small insects. 

What kind of fruit do mockingbirds eat?

Mockingbirds can eat most fruits but they prefer berries that can be easily plucked from a bush and swallow whole.

In the garden, the mockingbirds can eat anything, including raisins, bananas, citrus fruits, and grapes. 

Do mockingbirds visit feeders?

Mockingbirds are good at foraging and feeding and rarely encounter food shortages. But this doesn’t mean that they do not visit feeders.

During the winter season, mockingbirds mostly get attracted to the feeders. They can eat mealworms, nutritious fruits, seeds, grains, and suet. 

How do mockingbirds forage?

Generally, the mockingbirds forage from the grounds but they can also pick berries or fruits from the trees. They forage using a peculiar two-step walk or hop.

With the hop, you can see the white patches under their feathers. However, it is not known why these birds use this method to forage from the ground.

It can be because the birds are intimidating others around their feeding grounds. 

How do mockingbirds hunt?

The mockingbirds are good hunters and usually fly from their perch to pick the arthropods from the ground.

They are even capable of catching flying insects and chasing them for an extensive period.

The Northern Mockingbirds usually use stunning or knocking their prey to the ground and then killing them by swooping. 

Are mockingbirds territorial feeders?

Generally, the mockingbirds are territorial birds and they can chase off any intruder from their territory. They visit fruit trees, bushes, and bird feeders outside their territory.

These birds know how to intrude on other’s territories to steal food. The mockingbirds are also observed to have grudges against specific animals that enter their territory and it does include humans as well.

As per one study, it was found that mockingbirds can learn to recognize specific people after they are exposed for only 60 seconds. They are intelligent birds and have both recognition & memory skills. 

Do mockingbirds attack humans?

Some reports show that mockingbirds attack humans. Most species of mockingbirds are territorial, especially the Northern Mockingbird who usually attacks humans.

These birds have dive-bombing behaviors and they swoop from a perch to attack humans. But the wounds of these attacks are mostly minor.

Even some people have been reported to be persistently attacked by the wild mockingbirds day after day. 


Mockingbirds are omnivorous birds who often prefer insects. But during the winter season, there is a scarcity of insects which makes them rely on fruits, berries, or flowers.

These birds love to eat mealworms and it can be a good source of attraction. 

At last, I hope this article may have helped you in some ways. Thank You For Reading!

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