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Angelo State University
Natural History Collections

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Northern Mockingbird

The northern mockingbird was made the State Bird of Texas in 1927, in part because it “is found in all parts of the state and is a singer of distinctive type.”

  • General Information
    1. In what habitats would you expect to find northern mockingbirds?
      • It is not easy to get this information from collection records, but you can see the different types of habitats that occur in the Concho Valley. For more information, visit the ASNHC Bird Database.
    2. In what other states do northern mockingbirds live?
      • VertNet is an online database with information from many collections, such as the ASNHC. You can go to the website and search for Mimus polyglottos. Then select the map option.
  • Questions
    1. How many northern mockingbirds are stored in our collection?
    2. Where in Texas were our specimens of northern mockingbirds found?
    3. In which seasons are northern mockingbirds usually seen?
    4. When did we get our oldest specimens?
    5. Where did we get our oldest specimens?

    For answers, use the ASNHC Collection of Ornithology Searchable Database.

    Preserved mockingbird Mimus Polyglottos specimen image gallery and questions

    1. Which sex is this specimen?
    2. “1112” written vertically on the left is the ASNHC number of this specimen. 
    3. On what date was it collected?
    4. Who collected it?
    5. Can you tell where it was found?
    6. What are the numbers and letters that don’t make sense to me?
      • TCM 3152 is the catalog number of Dr. Terry Maxwell, who prepared this specimen and recorded all of its information in his own personal catalog.
      • 52.5g was this bird’s weight; “little fat” means just that; sk.70% oss. stands for “skull 70% ossified,” which means that this bird was still immature when it died
      • testes minute, black means that this bird had small dark testes.
      • DOR stands for “Dead On Road,” which means this bird was found already dead, probably as a result of hitting a car.

    For answers, use the ASNHC Collection of Ornithology Searchable Database to find this specimen.