Monday, March 26, 2007

Mockingbirds


Mockingbirds put out some of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard. They have a tendency to 'mock' other birds, often at a rapid speed & will bounce from one birds sounds to another.
Being a nightowl myself, I notice that these are the birds that whistle solo in the wee hours of the early morning when all else is quiet.
Last year, I noticed that one of our neighborhood mockingbirds even had whistles that sounded like police sirens and ambulances.
Several years ago, I had a parakeet & my parakeet found a friend in the mockingbird. They would whistle endlessly back & forth...with the mockingbird imitating my little birds whistle. After my bird had passed away, that mockingbird would come back to my kitchen window & whistle in. I couldn't help it. I had to whistle back & for that year we enjoyed whistling to each other in loving memory of Touree(my bird).
This morning my DH heard scraping sounds coming from our wood-burning stove. He opened the door & out flew one mockingbird. I ran around...turning off ceiling fans & stood at the front door crouched down with it wide open. My DH ran from room to room with a butterfly net in hand encouraging the mocking bird to go to the front room. At one point the mockingbird landed on his thumb and before completely escaping our four walls, it briefly landed on my pointer finger.
The mockingbird is the state bird of Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee & Texas. They are known to know 40 different songs at any given time & have even been known to mimic the bark of a dog. They like open feilds for the eating of insects & thorny bushes for their nests. They love berries. They are very protective of their nests and I have seen one mockingbird successfully chase away 100's of blackbirds. They do not typically visit bird feeders, but will if you have a suet feeder or fresh fruits & berries for them. They prefer holly trees, mulberry trees, dogwoods, blackberries etc.
Somehow or another, a bird comes inside this house every year...
I just hope that the old wives tale about birds in the house are, once again, inaccurate. :)
Spring is officially here!

14 comments:

Hammer said...

When I was a kid I would play games with mocking birds like dueling banjos, each whistle would get more complex until the bird finally won.

Mel said...

Oh how wonderful!

Not that he got in the house, mindyou....but gosh, what a lovely bird to have for company!

I wonder if I could entice one up north a bit?
:-)

Baron Ectar said...

SKL -

I came here and was trying to find a way to tell you how your words over at my place touched me and lifted me - I was struggling with this because words cannot convey what I want to say to you. Your encouragement and insight means the world to me right now and I do so much thank you for that.

If you were a bird - you would be my favorite and I would hope that you would come and sing in my window daily your encouraging song.

JR's Thumbprints said...

My wife would never allow birds in the house, only rats, turtles, fish, and a dog.

skinnylittleblonde said...

That is just awesome Hammer! They are amazing little things!

Mel~ according to identify.com the Northern Mockingbirds range is from northern California, eastern Nebraska, southern Ontario, and Maritime Canada southward.

Baron~ Aw, thanks...but I bet you say that to all the silly birds ;)

Jr~ This particular bird didn't ask to enter before coming on in. Lol, if he did, I probably would have asked him why he wanted in. Luckily, my DH had the foresight to turn the dogs out before opening the stove door.

Orhan Kahn said...

What a beautiful and unique relationship to have. To be honest I never knew mocking birds actually mocked the sounds they heard. Thats quite amazing.

Slick said...

Did I miss where you told us what the wive's tale is?

I'm an ignorant redneck, you have to explain things to me.

I like listening to the birds while I'm sitting out in the middle of a lake fishing for bass.

That counts, for sure.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Orhan~ LoL, I figured there'd be some folks that didn't know that or some other tidbit, so I tried to make this simple little post a little educational.

Slick~ Lol, an ignorant redneck would not know how to spell ignorant, much less be able to use the word in proper context! :)Remember, I live in Georgia...I do know a thing or two about ignorance & rednecks! You have probably heard the mockingbirds sitting in the lake. Around here, they are the very first birds of the day...often beginning their songs at two or three in the morning. You only missed what I omitted. I try to keep things real light & positive around here (I have a seperate blog for my diabolical tyrades ;) and the Old Wives Tale is that if a wild bird flies in your house it foretells a death. :0 But, we get birds in here every year & we're still kicking!

mindy said...

this is so weird.. yesterday, i had the front door open (it was cool and rainy, my favorite weather) and i heard birds and thought, what if one flew in?? what would i do?? and then i thought, they wouldn't come in here.. they know better.. and then i read your post.. :)

skinnylittleblonde said...

LoL, Mindy... you would probably be like us...turning off ceiling fans, opening doors & trying to gently usher it back out.
Last year, one flew in my upstairs window while I was sleeping. i opened my eyes & there was this bird perched on my headboard looking sideways down at me. I went to the window & whispered 'here's your way out baby' then gave my little Touree whistle & he flew right out! I think he was the same bird who's life I saved the year before.

Anne said...

Those mockingbirds sound like a lot of fun! Great story. :)

Around here it depends what sort of bird it is. If an owl is hanging around a bit too close, it foretells death. If it's a sparrow it foretells a birth. I don't know about mockingbirds though, I don't think we get them in CA.

I, like the view said...

how funny* SLB, just the other night (I'm an owl too) I was listening to a very very very early dawn chorus, which was wonderful

wish we had mocking birds here, we don't

we have do have some other lovely birds tho - and even the simple little robins or plain old blackbirds are wonderful when they're chirruping to you while you weed the garden!

(*funny lovely - not funny odd or funny ha-ha)

I saw a nature show on TV a whle back and the presenter was in the middle of the Amazon and the mocking birds were making the sounds of chain saws

:-(

skinnylittleblonde said...

LOL, ILTV... it was the wee hour birds that whistled me to sleep last night...@ 4am!
They are beautiful!
How sad about the mocking birds sounding like chainsaws! I know last year, I was very saddened to hear them sounding like police sirens... I said 'You know you live in the ghetto when even the birds whistle like police sirens.' It's sad.

Nonetheless, they say that birds are the first sign of a healthy environment. It must be healthy in my ghetto, because my car is covered in droppings...but I wouldn't trade a thing!

Anonymous said...

These are really amazing birds. I would also like to mention that these bird can also be very tame. I was in Algonquin park a couple of years ago. My girlfriend and I went on a extremly long and in my opion dreadful hike. When we got to the top of this huge rock face, it was at least 300ft high we took a break. I sat down and started to eat a pear. I got one bite and put my arm down by my right leg with pear in hand. As I was gazing at the wonders of the park a Mockingbird landed on my hiking shoe and ran up my leg to the pear. He stopped for a sec to look at me and then proceeded to have his lunch taking bites out of my pear. I was absolutely stunned.