To Kill a Mockingbird

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In the comments of Annika’s Parrot post someone mentioned a bird making all kinds of crazy sounds at night. Well, that might the be public nuisance bird – aka the mockingbird. I’ve had one perched in the palm tree next to my bedroom all week and it’s been driving me crazy.

The northern mockingbird is apparently capable of singing 200 different songs. They break down in the following categories: 50% car alarm, 20% bird, 10% Byrds, 10% film score, and 3% ska. The rest is an odd mix of nursery rhymes, Sheryl Crow, Counting Crows, Paul McCartney & Wings, and, of course, Neil Diamond. Mockingbirds were highly prized for their singing during the 19th and early 20th centuries, until the advent of radio. It was, in fact, the first audio format to become obsolete, and possibly the angriest. This mockingbird was following me through the park the other day, showing off his plumage in a manner that one might describe as “somewhat effete.”

My mockingbird likes to sing the car alarm song. However unlike the car alarms, the mockingbird doesn’t shut up after 5 minutes. It continues to sing until I get out my 22. But wait, I would never shoot an innocent little bird. No, but I did threaten it. It hasn’t come back for several days. But when it does, I’ll be ready.

photo and text used with permission by Anthemic

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5 Replies to “To Kill a Mockingbird”

  1. I remember back in the days as a valley there legions of those noisey birds that had car alarms copied pretty well down to the same shreiking rhythmn and cadence. Yearned for a BBgun loaded with dried peas to dissuade them from hanging around too long.

  2. We’ve got one nesting next door that’s in permanent screechy-noise mode of which I don’t blame it seeing as it got too close divebombing our cat and now the poor bird’s without a single tailfeather but otherwise unharmed and really really mad. Especially when I point at it and chuckle because it looks so strange.

  3. I love to hear them sing at night. However; none near me have learned to imitate the car alarm – yet. I hope they never do.

  4. I have a mockingbird that lives outside my bedroom window. IT NEVER SHUTS UP. all night it sings whatever it wants and makes me want to hurt it. Want to.

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