IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

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Biology

The hood mocking bird is remarkably fearless of humans, and it is not uncommon for one to land on the head of a visitor to the island (3) (4). It will eagerly explore any unknown object for food or drink (4), and the result of this behaviour is an incredibly varied diet. It will feed on typical items such as insects, fruits, berries, marine arthropods and small vertebrates, but will also eat carrion from carcasses of seabirds, lizards and sea lions. Damaged seabird eggs are promptly consumed, and it will also use its powerful bill to eat intact eggs, and pluck ticks from the backs of marine and land iguanas. A unique feature of this species is its blood-drinking habit; it customarily drinks blood, especially in the dry season, from wounds in living sea lions, from sea lion placentas, and even from wounds on the legs of humans (2). The hood mockingbird is territorial, with seven to ten adults per territorial group, but often only one breeding pair (2). The hood mockingbird is a co-operative breeder, meaning that non-breeders act as helpers at nests in their group's territory, and some breeders help raise nestlings in nests other than their own (3). The cup-shaped nest, made of twigs and lined with finer plant material, is often placed in a cactus. Breeding occurs from March to April when clutches of one to four eggs are laid, with the resulting chicks being fed by several adults (2). In the non-breeding season, hood mockingbirds gather in groups of up to 40 individuals, which forage together (5)

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Source: ARKive

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