Tuesday, May 02, 2006

To Kill a Mockingbird.

There is a mockingbird that has nested directly outside of my bedroom window. Mind you, I'm from Texas, where the mockingbird is revered as the official state bird since 1927. For those of you not from the U.S. or Southern Canada, click here to find out what they look like.

The song of the mockingbird is actually a medley of the calls of many other birds. Each imitation is repeated two or three times, then another song is started, all in rapid succession. It is common for an individual bird to have as many as 25-30 songs in its repertoire, though there are documented cases of a single bird with up to 200 different songs. Mockingbirds are known as fierce protectors of its nest and environment. They are sometimes seen swooping down on a dog, cat or predator that may be venturing too close to the bird's protected territory.

The mimus polyglottos, as the mockingbird is known scientifically, is about ten inches in length, including its relatively long tail. It has a light gray coat and a whitish underside. Its wings and tail are darker gray with white patches.

One of the interesting things about mockingbirds is that they also have the ability to pick up and mimic certain mechanical sounds. Therein lies the trouble. The other day my alarm clock went off, and after hitting the snooze button again and again it wouldn't turn off. Even unplugging it wouldn't make it stop going off. Apparently the mockingbird has picked up the sound of my alarm clock and added it to its playlist.

Male mockingbirds (especially unmated ones) are known to sing through the night, especially during the full moon. I hope whoever is in the tree outside has a female to tell him to shut it.

*sigh*

15 Comments:

At 1:30 PM, Blogger Ms. Pants said...

The ones out here just make car alarm noises.

 
At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Jenn said...

I'm sorry, I had to laugh. But that's awful.

 
At 1:59 PM, Blogger sirwilliam said...

All I have to say is "Failure to Launch". If you've seen it, you know the routine. If not, check it out, you will find solstice.

 
At 3:40 PM, Blogger Faith said...

I used to use old, stale Easter candy to try to chase the mockingbirds from the tree outside my apartment in Northern Cali. I tried using a slingshot technique at first, but found that just hucking the candy would work just as well. As long as it hit the tree (not the bird...I'm not THAT evil) it would piss off the bird, and after a couple of pieces, the bird would fly to another location in the apartment complex to harass some other poor sleeping fool.

I hate those damned things. I can't sleep while they're chirping, so they drive me to madness...

 
At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Mary Scarlet said...

no WAY. they do that? that would make me nuts. I already have nightmares about my alarm clock.

 
At 11:13 AM, Anonymous pixi said...

Oh, no. As if you needed something else to keep you from sleeping!

 
At 12:07 PM, Blogger Vacant Uterus said...

That happened to me once, too. And geez is it annoying! Maybe some ear plugs would help? I like the idea of using stale candy to chase the bird away...jellybeans seem like a good projectile.

 
At 2:35 PM, Blogger Faith said...

Vacant, I used some Dove chocolate eggs that didn't turn out to be something I enjoyed very much, personally. It's rare that chocolate would find a way out of my house other than through me and then the sewer system, but that mockingbird deserved my harassment, dammit.

Pixi, I used to wear my earplugs, and could STILL hear the dammed thing even though my windows were closed, the tree it was in was over 30 feet away from my building, and I had a fan on in my room to provide white noise. It was fine when it woke me up just a few minutes before my alarm went off, but eventually, it started singing earlier and earlier and by the time it was regularly waking me at 5 a.m. each day, I wanted to just cut the whole damned tree down, I swear.

I really don't like birds much, if you couldn't tell. :)

 
At 9:28 AM, Blogger Kimmer said...

Okay, so now I know what kind of bird is chirping so loudly and so annoyingly outside my bedroom window each night. I was just saying to my husband the other night, what kind of bird chirps this loudly at 3 in the morning? It’s ridiculous.

 
At 9:18 AM, Blogger Nico said...

I was recently visiting a cousin, and kept hearing some neighbor's cell phone ringing. Turned out it was a parrot. Damn good imitation.

I can imagine how annoying an alarm-clock sounding bird must be. I don't even like it when commercials have alarm clock like sounds in them! I hope it goes away pronto - or at least finds some other sound to imitate!!

 
At 5:12 AM, Blogger Thalia said...

I don't think we have mockingbirds here and now I'm relieved. What are you going to do?

 
At 9:28 AM, Blogger moo said...

Hey April - where have you been hiding? Hope all is well.

 
At 8:30 PM, Blogger daysgoby said...

wondering how you are....

 
At 11:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
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