At first I wanted to kill him, now I worry when I don't hear him at night. He sings his heart out, under my window every night, all night. At first he kept me up, now I sleep like a baby knowing he is somewhere around. He sings at night, all day long and even in the rain...and all this in his quest for a mate. Now that I know why he sings it breaks my heart.
There are nights when he sounds like Pavarotti AND Friends with the New York Symphony and Zubin Mehta at the helm. He came into my kitchen one day, a balmy April afternoon when the sky was clear and the breeze was blowing into the house from the back door I had left opened while I made lunch. That is when I fell in love. Now I worry if I don't hear him. Is he still around, did he find a mate, will he have babies? shudder (!). Pavarotti and friends... what a nightmare!
Of course I'm talking about a mockingbird. THE Northern Mockingbird to be exact. Being a city girl, at first I thought he was a nightingale. After all it sang at night, all night. But those do not habitate North America. Oh the things one learns when one does not live in a condo!
The Northern Mockingbird, the most well known representative of this family above the equator, is known scientifically as Mimus polyglottos, which comes from the Greek “mimus” to mimic, and “ployglottos” for many-tongued. The song of the mockingbird is actually a medley of the calls of many other birds. Each imitation is repeated two or three times before another song is initiated. A given bird may have 30, 40 or even 200 songs in its repertoire, including other bird songs, insect and amphibian sounds, and even the occasional mechanical noise.
Part of the mockingbird’s advantage over other avians is physical; it uses more of the muscles in its vocal organ, the syrinx, than most other passerines do, many more than non-passerines like raptors or waterfowl. But the mockingbird also has a mind for music. It’s been theorized that this species has more brain matter devoted to song memory than most other birds do. Why does the mockingbird sing? The vocal mimicry trait seems to indicate that lyrical flow is an especially potent aphrodisiac in mockingbird circles, although some lonely males warble and whine the whole night through when unable to find a mate.
Well! Now we know. At first, I seriously considered finding a way to shut him up. Seriously, when one can't sleep at 3 o'clock in the morning for more than a week the mind works in strange ways. The next morning the thought process changed to a quest for a mate. Just where did one find a female mockingbird? A pet shop? Mail order bride? Amazon! they have everything! Seriously, deprived of sleep a person's thought process can go bonkers.
See him in the orchid?
Let' s face it, neither one of us was ready for this
Get me outta here!!!
Sitting on my daughter's experiment for growing (?) and obviously not working
Poor thing, this photo broke my heart!
When the big rains came a couple of days ago, I could still hear him singing in the middle of the downpours. I haven't heard him today...perhaps and hopefully he is on an extended honeymoon!