Wednesday, June 7, 2023

A little night music ~~~~~~~

The Northern mockingbird. . . . . . . . is known for vocal mimicry as they imitate songs of many other birds. Proof of their repertoire, often up to several dozen songs, have been recorded, plus sounds such as a squeaky wheel, human whistling, even a dog bark. Many of those 'melodies' offered by a young male mockingbird filled the garden last night. Sleeping with the windows raised made the songs coming from that one bird enjoying his late night out, even louder. He had to be on a tree branch right outside the window and he stayed there singing non-stop from midnight until around 1 am. I was reading, who could sleep during such a beautiful serenade. BTW, mockingbird males prefer to sing in the middle of the night so this was nothing out of the ordinary.

Northern mockingbirdMimus polyglottos

Silvery gray head and back with light gray chest and belly. 
White wing patches seen in flight or during display.  
Tail mostly black with white outer tail feathers. 
Black bill. Male and female same coloring.
Non-migrator in North Carolina. 
Food : insects and fruit, they come to suet feeders too.
Territorial and a family will stay in the same garden for many years.

I've managed to take photos of a lot of mockingbirds over the years, 
above are a few of my favorites.
Do you live within the sound of these true song birds?

There will be no more sleeping with the windows open - at least
for a while. The air quality here is now being impacted by the 
 smoke drifting south from the horrendous Nova Scotia 
wildfires. I'm sad for Canada losing so much of its beautiful
forests and countryside as these fires sweep across the country.
Hopefully they can soon get rain and enough human assistance
to put the fires out.
Stay safe all my Canadian friends.


  1. What an incredible little bird - I am just listening to him now on Youtube, and he has been singing non-stop for the last 8 minutes without any repetition. One piece that I read said that Mockingbirds who sing all night tend to be young, still-unattached males or older males who have lost their mate. If he is unattached I do hope he finds himself a mate soon.
    It is so sad to learn about Nova Scotia. We once met my brother and his Canadian wife there, and we spent three weeks travelling around together. It has hardly been mentioned in the news here, but it sounds far worse than I had envisaged especially as you mention that the smoke is drifting all of the way down to your area.

  2. If ever a Mockingbird sings in the vicinity of my house you can be sure you'll hear all about it. As far as I know they've never ventured across the Atlantic. I get the beautiful song of a Blackbird outside my window at first light in the earlier part of the summer, but all I hear at that time of night are Tawny Owls and the bark of the Muntjac deer - neither of them very melodious.

  3. Do the male birds go through their singing routine to attract and impress females? Will the quality of air from Canada affect your birds?

  4. Fascinating facts about the mockingbirds. I know I've seen them around. I guess I need to pay closer attention to their sounds.
    Awful about the wildfires. We couldn't imagine why we were under an air quality alert this morning as the air seemed crisp and clear.

  5. Isn't he adorable! And to be serenaded with squeaky wheels conjures a very romantic image, hahah! Unfortunately, this sweet crooner is another I've never heard despite the lifelong intrigue by the book title To Kill a Mockingbird.

    I hope you sleep well in the nights to come - we are well familiar with poisonous air quality in this land when there are fires raging. It's a great tragedy for Canada.

    I've been a bit busy lately and have fallen behind with my blog readings so had a catchup last night and saw you've been busy with travel and revelling in your garden's delights. Happy Days, dear Mary!

  6. Oh no! Nova Scotia has forest fires? It has done nothing but rain here for days. Hopefully, it is heading for NS.

    I believe I've been blessed to hear a mockingbird a few times. I wouldn't describe him as being a garden friend for years the way I think yours might be.

  7. We have blackbirds here who often imitate songs or sounds they hear. I have heard some very distinctive mobile phone ringtones incorporated in their songs! They don't sing in the middle of the night, but can often be heard early mornings and late evenings, and when I am in a particular mood, it can move me to tears.

  8. Dear Mary,
    I loved reading about the mockingbird. We don't have them here, as far as I know. What amazing birds to be able to imitate others so well.
    I'm sorry the smoke is affecting you. We're all praying for rain as there are so many fires across Canada just now, even on our island. The smoke is drifting out to sea, so we are not affected at present.

  9. Here there is of course the Nightingale if you are lucky enough to live in the right area, failing that the Song Thrush has a beautiful song but is not all that plentiful these days so we make do with the blackbird - and his song is superb;

  10. I have heard about your forest fires, so terrible and scaring! Beautiful pictures of the mockingbird!
    Love from Titti

  11. No night birds that I know of here. I would love hearing your mockingbird. Yes, so sad for the fires in Canada.


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