Monday, March 26, 2012

Mockingbird (Mocks Your Need To Go To Sleep)

I'm still working on everything that I told you about in the post from the other day, but I had to share this because of how utterly absurd it is!

Here in the Southeastern US, we skipped winter entirely and are breaking records left and right for unseasonably warm weather (6 straight days of temps above 80 degrees F, and it's March!!!), as well as for pollen count.  I read somewhere that 1,500 was dangerously high/piratically highjacks your sinuses.  Atlanta last week had 9,000 something.  No lie.  But as insane as that is, that's not the absurd thing I wanted to share with you...

This is a Northern Mockingbird:

We have our own resident mockingbird.  This bird is hilarious.  The pair moved their nest to the front sasanquas after the overgrowing one in the back patio area was cut down.  (We did it in the winter while they were gone, so don't worry about any eggs or baby mockingbirds.) But before they moved, that tree grew right outside of my mom's room and the male would sit and learn the ring of her telephone.  Then later it would warble an imitation.  She would hear it from the kitchen (also near the tree) and run upstairs thinking it was her phone.  Mom would arrive upstairs to find the phone hadn't rung at all- no messages or call backs or anything- and the mockingbird would pretty much cackle at her from his sasanqua outside her window.

This went on for months until finally mom stopped using that phone line and just has her cell phone instead, and eventually Gran did decide to cut down the tree before it took out the corner of the porch.

The bird would also mercilessly taunt my cat through the storm door at the front of the house.  We'd open the big front door and let Ashley bask in the sunshine and watch the outside.  The top of the storm door is wiring and mesh, and the bottom is glass, of course, so Ashley could hear and smell everything outside, but there was no getting out to it.  Ashley'd be laying there soaking up a sunbeam and the mockingbird would hop right up to the glass and "meow", "hiss" and cackle at him, fanning his tail-feathers the whole time in an obvious show of "Nyah nyah, you can't get me!".  No matter how Ashley would growl, hiss, carry on or bat at the door, that bird wouldn't leave him be.  He couldn't catch it, and it knew it!

Now that he lives in the Sasanqua tree at the front corner of the house, he happens to be more or less directly below my bedroom windows.  He shows up in the spring, and stays until October or so.  I don't know where he vacations, but he always comes back to us.  I know it's the same one, because he has a distinct little white blotch under his right eye and he is fiercely territorial of that tree.  Every spring I watch him dive-bomb other, younger males in the yard and giving them what for.  (He always wins.)

Last April when I was sewing for the Hydrangea Festival, he arrived from his vacation, staked out his tree and proceeded to tell the entire world that it was springtime.  Loudly.  And with gusto.
He serenaded me from 6 a.m. each morning, all throughout the day and well into the evening before finally settling down around 9:30 p.m.  He did this daily, even as I was getting last minute things together on June 1st.  (Every bit as loudly as in April.  And with twice as much gusto.)

This odd, early spring weather has brought him back and he's so blessed excited about BEING A BIRD(!) that he hasn't shut up since we got home at 7:30 tonight! (I have no idea how long he'd been going before that- we were gone all day.)  I recorded this at 11:50 p.m.  It's 5 full minutes of audio- him just going to town.  Check it out:

It's now after of 2 a.m. (yeah, I'm up late working again; not that he's letting me sleep anyway...) and I think I only caught his warm-up at midnight, because the repertoire that's happening outside my window at this very moment is unbelievable! LOL

According to this Wikipedia article, "Northern Mockingbirds, in addition to being good mimics, are also some of the loudest and most constantly vocal of birds. They often sing through the night or when the moon is full."  NO FREAKING KIDDING! o_O


  1. They are very interesting is this post :) Touring the A-Z bloggers with interesting names!

  2. Oh, wow! Jenny! I am inspired to put my birdsong CD's on. A beautiful day here in South Jersey - and higher temps later this week. All our feeders and houses are out - just missing the flowers - still to come on that score. Our cats are indoor cats - they are so perplexed by my bird song CD's. Sounds like a plan!

  3. Jenny- We have mockingbirds here where we live also - there are several around our yard. Last summer I was chased by one several times when I mowed grass too close to her nest! I think they are really a lovely bird.