How to Get Rid of Mockingbirds?

Mockingbirds are known for their beautiful singing and their ability to mimic the sounds of other birds, animals, and even human-made noises. While they can be a delight to some, others might find their presence overwhelming or disruptive. This guide will help you understand mockingbirds better and provide you with humane and legal ways to deter or remove them from your property.

Understand Mockingbird Behavior

To effectively get rid of mockingbirds, it’s important to understand their behavior:

A. Mating and nesting habits

  • Mockingbirds typically mate in spring and summer
  • They build cup-shaped nests in trees and shrubs
  • The female lays 3-5 eggs, which hatch in about 12-13 days
  • The young leave the nest after 10-12 days

B. Territoriality

  • Mockingbirds are known to be territorial, especially during breeding season
  • They may aggressively defend their nests and feeding areas

C. Nocturnal singing

  • Males sing at night to attract a mate or defend their territory
  • This can be particularly disruptive for people trying to sleep

D. Mimicking other birds and sounds

  • Mockingbirds can imitate over 200 different bird species and other sounds
  • This can sometimes create confusion for people trying to identify bird calls

Legal Considerations

Before taking any action, it’s essential to be aware of the legal implications:

A. Migratory Bird Treaty Act and other regulations

  • Mockingbirds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act
  • This means it’s illegal to kill, harm, or capture them without a permit

B. State and local laws

  • Some states and localities have additional laws protecting birds
  • Always check your area’s regulations before taking action

C. Consequences of violating bird protection laws

  • Violating these laws can result in fines, penalties, or even imprisonment

Non-lethal Deterrents

Using non-lethal deterrents is the best approach to discourage mockingbirds from your property:

A. Visual deterrents

  • Reflective surfaces and objects:
    • Hang CDs, aluminum foil, or reflective tape in problem areas
    • These items can scare birds away due to their reflective properties
  • Predator decoys:
    • Place fake owls or snakes near nesting areas
    • These decoys can make mockingbirds feel unsafe and leave the area
  • Moving objects:
    • Hang windsocks, pinwheels, or streamers near problem areas
    • The movement can help deter birds from settling

B. Auditory deterrents

  • Ultrasonic devices:
    • Emit high-frequency sounds that are unpleasant to birds but inaudible to humans
    • Place these devices near nesting or feeding areas
  • Distress calls:
    • Some devices play recorded bird distress calls
    • These can help deter mockingbirds from the area
  • Noise-making objects:
    • Wind chimes or other noise-making items can be hung near problem areas
    • The noise can help deter birds from settling

C. Physical barriers

  • Bird netting:
    • Use netting to cover fruit trees, bushes, or other attractive areas
    • This can help prevent mockingbirds from accessing food sources
  • Bird spikes:
    • Install bird spikes on ledges or other potential perching spots
    • This can discourage mockingbirds from landing and nesting
  • Tree and shrub modifications:
    • Prune trees and shrubs to remove potential nesting sites
    • This can help deter mockingbirds from choosing your property

Habitat Modification

Modifying the habitat around your property can make it less attractive to mockingbirds:

A. Remove food sources

  • Bird feeders and baths:
    • Temporarily remove bird feeders or baths to discourage mockingbirds from visiting
    • You can reintroduce them once the problem has been resolved
  • Fruit-bearing trees and bushes:
    • Harvest fruits promptly to reduce the available food source
    • Consider replacing fruit-bearing plants with non-fruiting varieties

B. Reduce nesting sites

  • Prune trees and shrubs:
    • Regularly prune trees and shrubs to minimize potential nesting sites
    • Focus on areas near windows or other human activity zones
  • Close off potential nesting spots:
    • Seal off any holes or crevices in your home or outbuildings
    • This can help prevent mockingbirds from nesting in these spaces

Alternative Solutions

If non-lethal deterrents and habitat modification aren’t enough, consider these alternative solutions:

A. Encourage natural predators

  • Attracting birds of prey:
    • Install nesting boxes for owls or other raptors
    • These predators can help control mockingbird populations
  • Encouraging snake populations:
    • Allow natural cover like rocks and logs to remain in your yard
    • This can provide habitat for snakes, which can prey on mockingbird eggs and young

B. Relocation and professional assistance

  • Bird relocation services:
    • Some professional wildlife companies offer bird relocation services
    • They can safely capture and relocate mockingbirds to a more suitable location
  • Wildlife rehabilitation centers:
    • In some cases, injured or orphaned mockingbirds can be taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center
    • These centers will care for the birds and release them in appropriate locations

Coexisting with Mockingbirds

If you can’t completely rid your property of mockingbirds, consider learning to coexist with them:

A. Benefits of having mockingbirds around

  • Natural pest control: Mockingbirds eat insects, helping to keep pest populations in check
  • Pollination: They can assist in pollinating flowers and plants as they search for food
  • Birdwatching: Their unique songs and mimicking abilities can make them interesting subjects for birdwatchers

B. Adjusting your perspective

  • Appreciate their songs: Try to see their nighttime singing as a natural symphony rather than a nuisance
  • Recognize their role in the ecosystem: Understand that mockingbirds play an essential role in maintaining a balanced environment

C. Fostering a bird-friendly environment

  • Provide birdhouses: Install birdhouses for other bird species to create a diverse bird community
  • Plant native plants: Choose plants that provide food and shelter for a variety of birds, not just mockingbirds


Understanding the importance of balanced ecosystems and using humane methods to get rid of mockingbirds is crucial for responsible wildlife management. Remember that while they may be bothersome at times, mockingbirds are an important part of our natural world, and learning to coexist can be a rewarding experience.


  • Nathan Collins

    Having spent years working in the landscaping industry, Nathan Collins has cultivated a wealth of knowledge about the natural world. He is committed to helping others appreciate the beauty in their backyards, whether it's through identifying rare rocks and minerals or crafting the perfect landscape.

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