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Aug 25

I Love to Listen to the Mockingbird

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus Polyglottos)

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus Polyglottos)

When my sister was young and still going to school, a mockingbird decided that the chimney on my parents’ house was just the high platform needed for practicing its broad list of tunes. The trouble was that my sister’s window was in close proximity to that chimney.

At 6 am our intrepid mockingbird began to sing almost nonstop, flexing its vocal prowess for all to hear and enjoy (except my sleepy sister)! Both males and females sing, but the males sing the most. Depending upon their age, mockingbirds may learn more than 200 songs. Each year they add new tunes to their extensive repertoires.

I am reminded of a time several years ago. I was walking through the beautiful annual Lilac Festival in Rochester, New York. My Mom and I were enjoying the fragrance of all the wonderful lovely flowers, bushes and trees in Highland Park, along with many other people. Nearby we kept hearing a robin and finches and all kinds of birds, but we couldn’t see any of them. We thought that was odd, until I realized there was a mockingbird perched atop a tall maple tree. He had fooled all the people in that area, and seemed to be reveling in his deception!

Lure Mockingbirds to Your Yard

A flash of white + a big grey bird = an awesome Northern Mockingbird. Their uninspired coloring belies the beauty of their songs. Lure these accomplished songsters to your yard by planting their favorite nesting material: grapevines. They use the grapevine bark strips to skillfully weave into their sturdy constructions. They prefer to nest in dense shrubs fairly low to the ground, so a mixed hedgerow that includes berry bushes would be a tempting feature as well.

Mockingbirds do come to bird feeders if softer treats are offered. Because their beaks are thin, they are not very good at cracking hard seeds, so supply some or all of the following:

· Grapes

· Suet

· Peanut butter suet

· Sunflower hearts

· Crumbled baked goods

Another great way to entice mockingbirds to your yard is to plant roses that produce lots of small rose hips. Their choice in roses is the non-native Multiflora, but that tends to be a bit invasive. I prefer to use Robin Hood climbing roses planted as a shrub grouping or hedgerow. They bear tons of small rose hips, which fuel mockingbirds in the fall before they begin their migratory trek southward.

Just a friendly note of warning: mockingbirds are dive bombers! Territorial and fearless, if you should venture too close to their nesting site, watch out. You are liable to be the target of this feisty behavior; although, if you are the one that provides them with nesting materials and locations as well as food, they will be reluctant to attack.

These birds provide hours of ever-changing musical entertainment for free. Their serenades are soothing to me, and they test my bird song identification skills. I love to listen to the mockingbirds.

 

Connie Smith is the proud owner and manager of Grandma Pearl’s Backporch, LLC, and the expert author of many online articles about easy and unique ways you can create the best bird-friendly habitats to help wild birds survive and thrive.

Discover how to create fun and safe backyard habitats for wild birds using their preferred plants and foods, while adding color, fragrance and beauty to your landscape.

Find simple how-to projects for making your own unique bird feeders; and learn how easy it is to attract a variety of birds to your yard and gardens. Join the fun and visit today!

http://grandmapearlsbackporch.blogspot.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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