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How to Get Rid of Mockingbirds

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A mockingbird’s song can be quite enjoyable. That is, until they refuse to stop singing and making noise, and you find yourself quite irritated.

Mockingbird in a south Texas spring garden

When nesting season arrives, mockingbirds sing all day, every day, and sometimes straight through the night.

This is the time of year that you will not want them around your house. If they make a home nearby, there’s a high chance you will trouble getting sleep with all of the noise they make.

In addition to being noisy, mockingbirds can be quite possessive, territorial, and aggressive. If you or anything else moves close to their nest, they will most likely attack.

If you are trying to get rid of mockingbirds, you have to be well prepared and a bit patient. But don’t worry. There are humane ways to encourage these song birds to move along.

Items You Need to Get Rid of Mockingbirds

Before you set out to kick a mockingbird out of your territory, you need to have the right supplies. Here are the items you will want to have on hand:

  • Get a super-soaker water gun. You can also use your water hose or a nerf gun. If you use a nerf gun, only use soft projectiles.
  • Prepare a water source. Whether you use a water gun or a hose, you will want plenty of water on hand and near where the mockingbird has made its home. Make sure that you have enough water pressure if you are using a hose.
  • Get a hawk or an owl silhouette. These will work as scarecrows to warn off the mockingbirds. Since hawks and owls are apex predators, mockingbirds are naturally scared of them.
  • Have a reliable light source if you are going after them at night. A torch, penlight, or flashlight will do. You’ll need light to avoid hazards such as rocks, pointed branches, and sharp bushes.
  • Get portable binoculars or a telescope. With enhanced vision tools, it will be easier for you to find the mockingbird, especially if it stays in a tree with thick leaves.

2 Methods for Getting Rid of Mockingbirds

All of the collected supplies are meant to safely assist you in scaring off the mockingbird without harming it. The goal is to encourage it to move on, not hurt it. Once you have your items ready, you can start to chase down the mockingbirds and reclaim your territory.

mockingbird  on tree branch

Using Water

When using a super-soaker water gun or a water hose, follow these steps. If you have a nerf gun with soft bullets, you can also use these steps.

1. Prepare Your Arm

Fill your water gun with water and have a water source ready nearby. When using a water hose, ensure the flow rate of the water has enough pressure to hit your target. If you are using a nerf gun, load your projectiles and have more ready to go.

2. Survey the Area

With your binoculars or telescope, survey the area and locate your target. Ensure there are no obstacles between you and where you see the mockingbird. Also, make sure that there is nothing in the way that can harm you.

3. Aim High and Shoot

Once you have located your target, aim high and shoot. The goal is to make it clear to the mockingbird that it should look for a new home without physically harming it. Be persistent if the bird moves from one area to another until it moves on completely.

Using a Decoy

Setting up a hawk or owl decoy is an easy method to discourage mockingbirds from making a home nearby or returning after you have successfully warned them away. Just follow these steps:

1. Create Your Hawk or Owl Silhouette

Use your creativity! Trace or draw the silhouette of a hawk or an owl on a piece of cardboard. Make as many as you need. Then cut out the drawing, and attach it to a dowel rod. You can also purchase premade decoys if you prefer.

2. Place the Decoys in Strategic Locations

Fix the decoys in various areas where they will intimidate the mockingbirds or where you have seen the birds visiting. This will deter them from staying close by.

Is There Mockingbird Repellant?

There is no repellant specifically made for mockingbirds. However, items like hawk or owl decoys as well as ultrasonic bird repellers may help repel mockingbirds.

Whether ultrasonic bird repellers actually work is up for debate. People disagree on whether the sounds are actually perceived by birds. Since most birds hear within the same frequency range as humans, it is unlikely a device will work if you can’t hear the sound yourself.

Why Are Mockingbirds Aggressive?


Mockingbirds are territorial and possessive birds. This is why they usually attack anyone or anything that moves close to their nest. Their aggression, in this case, is a protective response.

Proactive Defense

Mockingbird on the alert

Studies have shown that mockingbirds can pick out faces of people and pets they see as threats. If a mockingbird thinks you are a threat, it might attack you even before you do anything, and you might want to keep your distance.


Mockingbirds are even more aggressive during their breeding season. It is recommended that you wait until the season is over to get rid of mockingbirds or to prune your yard if you have mockingbirds living in your trees and shrubs.

Unfortunately, mockingbirds can make an excessive amount of noise during this time.

Mockingbird Breeding Season

Male mockingbirds start establishing their nesting range as early as February. The breeding season is usually between April and July.

During this period, when a female mockingbird enters the territory of an unmated male, the male makes certain harsh sounds. Then both birds face-off and observe each other before the male runs after the female.

In a situation where the female leaves the territory, the male tries to lure her back by spreading its wings and making soft calls.

In the end, a female mockingbird will choose a new mate or breed with its mate from the previous season.

The good news is that when a male and a female mockingbird finally bond, the songs are shorter and less intense. Mockingbirds are usually monogamous.

In some cases, unmated males do not find a mate during the breeding season. In such cases, they will continue singing until late in the season when they eventually move on.

How Mockingbirds Choose Their Nest

Mockingbirds usually build their nests in areas with dense, low shrubs. You’ll commonly find their nests in areas like parks, forest edges, trimmed lawns, and utility poles.

Mockingbirds are usually attracted to the sources of food available in the location they build their nest. They are particularly attracted to berry bushes, which you should consider netting to keep mockingbirds out.

Final Thoughts

Be gentle when getting rid of the mockingbirds – try as much as you can to not harm them while encouraging them to find another place to live and make noise. Use water or decoys to scare them off. If you are unable to rid your yard of mockingbirds, you can console yourself with the fact that they can help control pests such as grasshoppers.


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