I feel fortunate to have Northern Mockingbirds visiting my yard each year. They usually build a nest in the Hawthorn tree I planted some time ago, but this summer I spotted them nesting in the dense brush along my backyard fence.
In spring and early summer, the male mockingbirds sing day and night. Just last week, I heard one belting out his tune in the pre-dawn darkness. He continued to sing a little while after sunrise. It was peculiar to hear this nocturnal singing so late in the year. I learned these talented songbirds are known for their nighttime vocals, usually lonely bachelors seeking a mate. Experts say these all-night melodies are the lovelorn songs of unpaired males who mate for life. I find the after-dark singing charming and wish they serenaded us year-round.
What’s fascinating about the Northern Mockingbird is their ability to mimic other birds. They incorporate sounds from up to 200 other species into their songs! I’ve heard everything from blue jay calls to woodpecker tapping coming from the mockingbird in my yard. The variety of their vocals is astounding.
The first photo I’m sharing shows a mockingbird perched on the edge of my backyard birdbath. Its grey feathers stand out against the weathered metal bath. The second image captures a mockingbird on the grass with an unidentified insect clutched in its beak. It had just snatched up this bug from the lawn near the bath.
I always appreciate the mockingbirds’ presence in my yard. Their varied songs bring music to my mornings and evenings. I feel grateful any time I get to observe and photograph these talented vocalists.
Steve Creek, Wildlife Photographer
Image Information (First Image):
- Date: 05/27/23
- Time: 11:24 AM
- Camera: Canon EOS R5
- Lens: Canon RF 100-500 mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM
- ISO: 1600
- Aperture: 14
- Shutter: 1/800
- Exp. Comp.: +0.3
- Program: Manual