10 Scientific Names Of Plants And Animals With Pictures Listen to the Mockingbird

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Listen to the Mockingbird

I’ve been listening to the beautiful song of Texas’ state bird, the Northern Mockingbird lately. I looked up information on mockingbirds and this is what I learned.

It is the male mockingbird that sings during the mating season in the spring. His tireless emission of trills, warbles, squawks and scolds recalls the verve of a Rossini overture. I can’t say I know what Rossini’s overture sounds like, but I’m sure it’s as elegant as the song of the mockingbird.

And male and female sing in the fall

They are protecting their territories, which depend on the food source for the winter. They also sing at night in spring and fall often when there is a moon. Only the male sings during the mating season, first to announce his territory and then to attract a female.

A mockingbird can imitate many other birds, as well as animals, insects, machines and even musical instruments. There is a well-known mockingbird in California that imitates fire sirens from a nearby station. Another is known to imitate the call of an American toad.

Unmated males make more music

Much of the song has to do with courtship, but unmarried men sing better than married men and often jump into the air as they sing. They say that only men who are not related to them sing at night.

I wonder about that. Maybe single men sing at night because they have nothing else to do – wash dishes, change diapers, feed hungry children or whatever. Maybe they sing because they don’t have to do the hard work or they sing at night after going out with unmarried people on their way home.

The man could sing without interruption for an hour. He can even jump and sing. It can make thirty or more different sounds within ten minutes, including almost any sound heard in nature, even human-made noises like whistling and whistling. He often repeats one thing three or more times before moving on to the next.

Not really a mimic after all

Strictly speaking, Northern Mockingbirds don’t sound like anything, despite their scientific name—L. Mimus, imitate; Gr. Polyglottos, many tongues. In biological terms, mimicry means deception as well as the advantage to mimic that results from deception. Because mockingbirds do not seem to deceive other animals when they sing, it is better to say that they match their songs.

On a plant note: mockingbirds go for chili pequins. They also like bread, suet and grapes.

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