Mockingjays are fictional birds found in the Hunger Games franchise. They are the offspring of jabberjays and mockingbirds.

The Definitive Glossary for The Hunger Games

The Mockingjay was born out of accidental mating and is therefore seen as a symbol of defiance against the Capitol. The Mockingjay also becomes the main symbol of the rebellion, with Katniss being referred to as the “Mockingjay” in real life.

Mockingjay Description

Mockingjays look similar to mockingbirds in various ways. They are jet black throughout with patches of white under their wings.


Mockingjays were born due to the mating of male jabberjays and female mockingbirds. 

During the First Rebellion, muttations called Jabberjays were created by the Capitol to spy on the rebels. These birds were capable of not only recording entire human conversations but also of relaying them to the listener down to the last word. However, jabberjays were abandoned as biological weapons once the rebels began using them to their advantage by feeding the Capitol with false information.

Once abandoned, the Capitol did not do much to extinguish the existence of jabberjays – expecting them to die out over time. This turned out to be true, however, not before jabberjays mated with female mockingbirds to produce their infamous offspring – the Mockingjay.

Mockingjay Characteristics 

While Mockingjays take after mockingbirds in appearance, they gained their unique musical characteristics from jabberjays. While the Mockingjay lost the ability to record and relay human conversations, it also gained the ability to record and relay birdsong and even human music. Thus, the Mockingjay can reproduce music and songs down to the last note, provided that one is patient enough to teach the whole song to them, and provided the Mockingjays like the voice of the person singing to them.


The Mockingjay is described in the novels as being “rare as rocks”. By this, one can assume that they are extremely common and found throughout the country. Known areas in which they have been spotted include District 11 and District 13, as well as the wilderness beyond District 12.

The Mockingjay Pin

The Mockingjay Pin was given to Katniss by Madge Undersee, the Mayor’s daughter and Katniss’ good friend. Katniss used this pin as her token from home in both the 74th and 75th Hunger Games. As a result, Katniss began to be associated with the bird. This, however, was the cause of endless irritation to the Capitol as the Mockingjay bird was somewhat of a “slap in the face” to the government. Not only was it a reminder of a failed experiment, but it was also something that reproduced outside the Capitol’s control.

After Katniss emerged as the Victor of the 74th Hunger Games, citizens of the Capitol began sporting the Mockingjay in their own fashion, as a tribute to one of the most exciting Hunger Games they had ever witnessed. However, all allusions to the Mockingjay were banned once the bird was seen as the symbol of the rebellion.

Mockingjay as a Symbol

Due to the accidental circumstances surrounding its birth, as well as its association with Katniss Everdeen, the Mockingjay became the symbol of the rebellion after the Third Quarter Quell. The bird was the rallying point for the rebels, who identified with one another through the symbol of the Mockingjay. Plutarch Heavensbee, for instance, reveals himself to be a supporter of the rebel cause when he shows Katniss his watch which had a Mockingjay on the dial.

Polluck, the Avox, would communicate with Mockingjay as well, singing tunes to them which they would repeat back to him. This was the only vocal communication he could ever partake in and was thus special to him.

Why Katniss is the “Mockingjay”

Katniss was associated with the Mockingjay bird due to the pin she wore as a token in the Hunger Games. She also had a special connection with the bird, as she remembered her father singing to the birds when she was younger. Peeta even comments that everyone would stop and stare when Katniss’ father sang, including the Mockingjays.

Katniss’ friend and ally in the 74th Hunger Games, Rue, used Mockingjays to convey messages to people. For instance, back in District 11, Rue would almost always be the first one to notice the flag that signaled the end of the day in the orchards. She would convey this to the rest of her district by whistling a four-note tune, which would be carried throughout the district by the Mockingjays. She also used the same four-note tune with Katniss as a signal in the arena.

For the reasons mentioned above, Katniss comes to embody a human version of the Mockingjay, as she becomes the face of the rebellion and a symbol of defiance against the Capitol.


Why do they call Katniss Everdeen the Mockingjay?

Katniss Everdeen is dubbed the Mockingjay by President Coin and the rebels of the Capitol, as she represents everything that the bird itself stands for – rebellion and defiance against the oppression of the Capitol. She therefore takes on the role of the Mockingjay while shooting various propos with Gale Hawthorne (played by Liam Hemsworth), Finnick Odair and others.

Why was the Hunger Games banned?

The Hunger Games was banned by the new government that was formed after President Snow was overthrown, as people viewed it as barbaric and violent.

What does the Mockingjay mean in the Hunger Games?

The Mockingjay is a bird in the Hunger Games that bred outside the control of the Capitol. As a result of this, the Mockingjay has come to symbolize courage, perseverance, defiance and rebellion for the people of Panem.

Is there a Hunger Games in Mockingjay?

No, there are no Hunger Games in Mockingjay. The last Hunger Games to ever take place in the nation of Panem is the Third Quarter Quell, which takes place in Catching Fire.

Is Mockingjay a real bird?

No, the Mockingjay is not a real bird. It is a fictional bird that exists only in the Hunger Games universe. The Mockingjay was born from the mating of male jabberjays and female mockingbirds.

Why is the Mockingjay a symbol of rebellion?

The Mockingjay is a muttation that was never meant to exist. These birds bred outside the control of the Capitol and are therefore viewed as a symbol of defiance and rebellion.

Why is the Mockingjay pin important to Katniss?

The Mockingjay pin is the only memorabilia that Katniss is allowed to carry into the arena from her home, District 12. The pin was given to her by her good friend Madge and gave her the strength to face the Games. This is why the Mockingjay Pin was important to Katniss.

Who plays Katniss and Peeta in the Mockingjay movie?

Katniss and Peeta are played by Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson respectively in all the Hunger Games movies, including Mockingjay Part 1 and 2.

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