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What happened to our Mockingbird??

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
All spring and most of this summer we have had a Mockingbird that lived in the pine tree across the road. From sun up until sundown it would sit on the phone line outside our house and go through it's medley (VERY talented bird) I once started counting how many bird songs it did and finally gave up around 15. At first, I was fascinated (first Mockingbird I ever saw up close and personal), then it got on my nerves, then it just became a constant and I didn't notice it anymore....

until it stopped.

I haven't seen our little Mockingbird in the last week. Not a peep (in any bird language). I don't know if one of the barn cats got it or if it just decided to move. Heck, it may have died of starvation because he NEVER shut up, and I never saw him on the ground eating. Of course, I have no idea what they eat so he could have been feasting on tree bugs at night for all I know.

But, I miss my little Mockingbird. I hope we get another one next spring.
post #2 of 16
Aw, I know how you feel. I watched some robins build a nest this spring, and then about a week ago, after a big storm, I noticed that the nest had fallen out of its tree! I was so sorry to see that.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Awww, hopefully all the babies had already left the nest and they had no use for it anymore. From what I remember when robins built a nest in a tree in their neighbor's backyard, they basically discarded the nest after the babies were old enough to fly. One good thing, robins built their nest in the same tree each year for a few years in a row until the neighbors cut the tree down. They weren't sure if they were the same couple (have NO idea if robins mate for life) but based on that I hope you have more robins again next year!
post #4 of 16
Awww that is sad. There is no way to tell what happened to him but hopefully another one will take up residence in your pine tree.
post #5 of 16
A "singing" mockingbird is guarding his territory. If they are not nesting, they don't sing like that. So, the possibility is he's still around, but the nestlings are gone away.

By the way, the mockingbird is the state bird of Texas (and several other states).
post #6 of 16
I used to have some catbirds that came around and ate the suet I hung up for the woodpeckers. They haven't been back in years! Here's a picture I took of two of them.


post #7 of 16
The loss of songbirds in the U.S. is a serious problem, according to some researchers. Many factors are involved, including habitat loss, increased urbanization, etc. But, unfortunately, the single largest factor in the reduction of the number of songbirds in the U.S. (and England, by the way) is the growing number of domestic cats.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
A "singing" mockingbird is guarding his territory. If they are not nesting, they don't sing like that. So, the possibility is he's still around, but the nestlings are gone away.

By the way, the mockingbird is the state bird of Texas (and several other states).
This may very be the answer to your question. I know this happens with mourning doves when they are nesting, you hear them all the time then as soon as the babies have left the nest they stop.

I love living where I do, being close to the river I have tons of song birds in my backyard and this year I had a pair of Scarlet Tangier's something I hadn't seen in years. I was thinking there were no more left in my area so it was such a pleasant surprise to see them.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
A "singing" mockingbird is guarding his territory. If they are not nesting, they don't sing like that. So, the possibility is he's still around, but the nestlings are gone away.

By the way, the mockingbird is the state bird of Texas (and several other states).
I didn't know that, but that makes me feel a lot better! I would hate to think that one of the barn cats got him. Maybe he just needs a vacation until next spring. So it is the male that sings while the female feeds the chicks? I'm guessing the songs are warning songs for all the other birds? I know I could check this online but it's much more fun to ask you.
post #10 of 16
I love hearing the birds sing, but I agree they can be annoying sometimes too! Especially trying to sleep in and birds start their morning chorus right outside our bedroom window.

I hope your mockingbird is still around.

BTW, I thought they didn't actually raise their young, but instead lay their eggs in other bird's nests? Or am I thinking of a different bird?
post #11 of 16
You're thinking of the cuckoo or the cowbird.

Male mockingbirds sing as they are staking out a territory and seeking a mate. Once mated, they sing only occasionally, usually at what would be the "corners" of their territory. And once the eggs are laid and hatched, the birds are busy raising the nestlings and not in drawing attention to themselves.

A truly expert birder can tell you all the birds the mockingbird is mimicking. And I've heard them mimick wolf whistles or other repetitive sounds they've been exposed to.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
You're thinking of the cuckoo or the cowbird.

Male mockingbirds sing as they are staking out a territory and seeking a mate. Once mated, they sing only occasionally, usually at what would be the "corners" of their territory. And once the eggs are laid and hatched, the birds are busy raising the nestlings and not in drawing attention to themselves.

A truly expert birder can tell you all the birds the mockingbird is mimicking. And I've heard them mimick wolf whistles or other repetitive sounds they've been exposed to.
After some research online, you are right. The "singing" is to find a mate then they are very quiet. Hopefully mine is happily married (for this year at least) and busy with the family.

I also read that they can have up to 200 sounds in their memory (other bird songs, train whistles, car engines, reptile noises) and they keep adding them as they grow older. Maybe the spring is the "American Idol" season for mockingbirds? Some say they are smarter than parrots who can talk.

I love living where I am. I see so many bird and hear so many different calls that I'm confused as to what they are. I have a bird book and binoculars, but most are in the woods and not close enough to get a good look at them.

BTW, catbirds and mockingbirds are different. MIL and I got into a debate about this until I pulled out my bird book and showed her that there really were two different birds. VERY similar and closely related, but different attidtudes (at least around here). Cat birds here DO swope down on the cats (and dogs and humans..it doesn't matter) if they feel threatned. The main difference here is catbirds usually have red under their tail where mockingbirds don't. And the catbirds here are much more aggressive (from what I've noticed...of course I just started really bird watching).
post #13 of 16
Thanks for answering my question!
That's cool that they mimic so many different sounds. Bird watching is fun.
post #14 of 16
I love bird-watching as well. I don't keep a list, but it's something I've enjoyed since I was little. I am trying to learn more of the calls (there are some really great web sites out there, for anyone who likes to identify birds by sound).
post #15 of 16
We had to get a second birdfeeder station b/c of a mockingbird

It was the middle of winter, and I guess this bird decided that I was the best "eats" in town. The bird would sit on top of the hook (we've got 2 of the WBU feeder stations now, at the time we only had one) and it would scare every single bird off! Dive bombed them Even tried to divebomb ME, and I was feeding it! (I was trying to get a picture of the piggy bird)

After we got a second station, the bird chilled out. It stopped hanging around the one feeder (I was worried it was going to stake 2 of them).

It reminded me of the 2 silly hummingbirds who have "hummer" wars in our backyard, over the 2 feeders I have out, that have about a quart of hummingbird food (sugar water) in it, more than enough for both birds!

Mockingbirds are neat. I love how they copy other birds songs.

Cheryl
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sneakymom View Post
We had to get a second birdfeeder station b/c of a mockingbird

It was the middle of winter, and I guess this bird decided that I was the best "eats" in town. The bird would sit on top of the hook (we've got 2 of the WBU feeder stations now, at the time we only had one) and it would scare every single bird off! Dive bombed them Even tried to divebomb ME, and I was feeding it! (I was trying to get a picture of the piggy bird)

After we got a second station, the bird chilled out. It stopped hanging around the one feeder (I was worried it was going to stake 2 of them).

It reminded me of the 2 silly hummingbirds who have "hummer" wars in our backyard, over the 2 feeders I have out, that have about a quart of hummingbird food (sugar water) in it, more than enough for both birds!

Mockingbirds are neat. I love how they copy other birds songs.

Cheryl
Mockingbirds don't really eat seeds. Where you feeding berries, fruits or raisins in your WBU feeding station? They love raisins.

Anyway, the mockingbird really sings to attract mates at certain times of the year. If you don't hear it singing doesn't mean it isn't there.
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