What is the State Bird of Tennessee? All Facts Explained

State Bird of Tennessee

Tennessee has a diverse mixture of terrains and landscapes which attracts an abundant supply of wildlife. Like other states, this state also has an official state bird and state animal.

When it comes to the state animal, it is the Raccoon but what about the state bird? The official state bird of Tennessee is the Northern Mockingbird which was chosen by the residents of Tennessee. 

And In this article, I’ve explained all the facts related to the state bird of Tennessee. 

Why is the Northern Mockingbird the state bird of Tennessee?

The government of Tennessee worked with the Tennessee Ornithological Society and its Garden Clubs to educate the state residents about the birds in the state.

After this education, the residents were asked to vote for the bird. In this voting, the Northern Mockingbird won and the legislature made this bird an official state bird bypassing Tennessee Senate Joint Resolution No. 51. 

When did Tennessee adopt the Northern Mockingbirds as their state bird?

On April 19, 1933, the legislature adopted the Northern mockingbirds as their state bird. The votes for the choice of official state bird were cast on April 11, 1933. 

What do the Northern Mockingbirds look like?

The Northern Mockingbirds measure 8 to 11 inches in length while the wingspan of these birds is 12 to 15 inches. The weight of these birds is between 1.4 to 2 ounces.

But usually, the female northern mockingbirds are smaller than the male species. Both genders resemble each other in terms of color.

These birds have grey chest and upper area, brown bills, and grey or white stomach areas. 

Unlike other birds, the lifespan of these birds reduces in captivity due to which the US government made it illegal to keep these birds as a pet.

These birds may live up to 8-20 years in the wild while in captivity they can live only one-quarter of that time. However, the oldest mockingbird that lived in Tennessee was of the age of 14 years 10 months. 

How Does Northern Mockingbird behave?

The songs of the mockingbirds are always misunderstood. Most people think that these birds can only copy others’ songs but in reality, these birds can also compose original music.

On average, the mockingbirds can perform 200 melodies among which 20 belong to other birds while the rest are their originals. These birds can also understand the other animals including human music, dogs, and musical instrument. 

These birds can also make urban noises like gates and sirens sounds. These birds decide whether to make a song based on the sound by repeating the sound a few times.

These birds can make their original melody if the imitating sound resounds with the bird. However, these birds often sing at the night and during the springtime, the birds prefer moonlight concerts. But hearing the same mix is not possible. 

The mockingbirds string together a different playlist each day. These birds compose their own songs and they attract their mate by singing.

These birds date a few different birds until they find the right one. The nest-building of these birds is done with the materials like grass, sticks, twigs, and leaves. Their baby birds follow the same pattern. 

Do Northern Mockingbird communities form communities?

Mockingbirds are hugely territorial and they protect their nests by swooping down to attack to chase off any predator. Even humans and pets are seen as their predators.

The mockingbirds can attack the humans and pets if seen close to them. These birds can also remember both the human and animals they see.

Therefore, it is advised not to make these birds angry, else you will make an enemy for life. Some mockingbirds stay in Tennessee full time but others stay in Mexico or Canada. Generally, these birds prefer a beach or ocean setting but they live in a landlocked environment. 

These mockingbirds also live in Great Britain and they look for open areas in the city or rural environment. The preference of these birds is to live the entire year in the same habitat and they won’t fly to the south if the areas remain warm. 

What do Northern Mockingbirds eat?

The diet of the mockingbirds includes fruits, seeds, berries, small insects, beetles, earthworms, and moths. These birds’ diets also vary seasonally.

They love to eat berries in Tennessee and they tend to settle in suburban areas where homeowners plant berry-bearing shrubs. 


The Northern Mockingbird is the state bird of Tennessee that got this status on April 19, 1933. These birds are medium-sized birds with long tails and they usually settle in the southern states during the winter season. The diet of these birds usually consists of seeds, berries, and small insects. 

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

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