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 its islands (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. The hood mockingbird will typically feed on insects, fruits, berries, marine arthropods and small vertebrates, but will also eat carrion from the carcasses of seabirds, lizards and sea lions. Damaged seabird eggs are readily consumed, and it will also use its powerful bill to eat intact eggs and to pluck ticks from the backs of marine and land iguanas. A unique feature of the hood mockingbird is its blood-drinking habit. It commonly drinks blood, especially in the dry season, from wounds on living sea lions, from sea lion placentas, and even from wounds on the legs of humans (2).
A territorial species, the hood mockingbird lives in groups of seven to ten adult birds. However, within this territorial group there is often only one breeding pair (2). The hood mockingbird is a co-operative breeder, meaning that non-breeders act as helpers at the 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, and clutches consist of one to four eggs. The chicks are fed by several adults (2). In the non-breeding season, hood mockingbirds gather in groups of up to 40 individuals, which forage together (5).