The weather is getting nicer and that means, like me, a lot of you are beginning to hear a nonstop, seemingly never-ending series of a dozen or so different bird whistles coming from somewhere around your house. If so, you have yourself a Northern Mockingbird friend, friend! And, hopefully you can appreciate their beautiful songs because they also tend to enjoy singing into the night. (click my pics for a super fancy version)
Early yesterday evening, while working on your next exciting Levittown Comfort blog post, I heard that unmistakable song pattern of the mockingbird. They can mimic all sorts of sounds and birdcalls they’ve leaned and usually repeat a phrase 2-6 times before moving to a new sound. This can go on for a while and, sometimes, deep into the night. Without haste I snapped these pics from my Blue Ridge backyard and thought it was a great excuse to write my first birding blog of the spring.
Mockingbirds are a personal favorite. They’re easy to identify, have fun behaviors to view and, boy can they sing! On spring evenings you can find one atop a post, wire or tall bush proudly cycling through 10 to 15 different calls. They’re always adding new songs to their collection and a male may learn as many as 200 in their lifetimes. Mockingbirds are often easy to spot as their territorial behavior compels them to choose a conspicuous spot for their performances.
Our Northern Mocking bird is a medium-sized, thrush-like bird with a generally thinner build and longer tail than that of a robin. They’re gray on top, grayish-white underneath and sport a dark line through their yellow eye. When they open their wings you can observe their strikingly white wing bars. Those and their white outer tail feathers make them easy to spot while in flight. Don’t get too close because these birds can be aggressive when defending their homes and aren’t above dive-bombing.
So, if you’ve been hearing the telltale songs of the Mockingbird lately you probably have a new resident for the season. Hopefully you’ve learned something new about your recent feathered friend and you can enjoy these handsome and fascinating birds while they stick around.
Photos via me.
Diagram via National Geographic.