Thursday, January 9, 2020

Review of Mockingbird Information

mockingbird photo by mbgphoto

Mockingbirds have long been the subjects of songs, literature and even movies.  When an early December snowstorm brought the first Mockingbird I had seen to my backyard feeders, I was curious to find more information about these popular birds.
mockingbird photo by mbgphoto

Some Facts about the Mockingbird

From Miriam Webster dictionary I learned that Mockbirds are" a common grayish North American bird (Mimus polyglottos) related to the thrashers that is remarkable for its exact imitations of the notes of other birds."

I did some more research using Wikipedia and All About Birds online and the National Geographic book "Backyard Guide to the Birds".  Here are some additional facts I discovered.

  • Mockingbirds are a New World group of passerine birds. (Passerines are distinguished from other birds by the arrangement of their toes-three forward and one back-which helps them in perching)
  • They are best known for their habit of mimicking other birds, insects and amphibians.
  • There are actually 17 different species of Mockingbirds.
  • Only the Northern Mockingbird is normally found in North America.
  • Mockingbirds are well known for their fun personalities of mimicking other birds songs.

 Mockingbird in Music

As I was researching Mockingbirds, I kept coming up with song lyrics and music with references to the bird.  Here is one of the most popular ones, a lullaby sung by many top musical artists.  Here is the first line.

Hush, little baby, don't say a word. Papa's gonna buy you a mockingbird And if that mockingbird won't sing, Papa's gonna buy you a diamond ring.

Does that sound familiar to you?  I found this cute child's book that features that song.

beautiful mockingbird photo by mbgphoto

Mockingbird in Literature

I found several references to the Mockingbird in books.  The most famous is a Pulitzer-prize winner by Harper Lee.

Another book I found with a reference to Mockingbird in the title, is this fun sounding book on cocktails.  The books teams up various classic books with a cocktail.

I took the three photos of the Mockingbird about a month ago and I have not seen the birds since.  I'm hoping they come to visit my backyard again soon.

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  1. Oh your pictures are so pretty. I don't think I have seen any of these birds in my area of North America, but I could not say for certain. Mockingbirds sure have a huge following in song, words and movies. So I guess there are many people who really like these birds. They are really quite cute. Thanks Mary Beth for a lesson in birding!

  2. "Remember, it's a sin to kill a mockingbird".... line from the movie "To Kill a Mockingbird", my very favorite movie.

    The mockingbird is my very favorite bird. Love to listen to its repertoire of musical notes. Years ago we had a mockingbird nesting in our yard and it drove hubby nuts with its singing. I, on the other hand, loved it. LOL.

    The lulluby 'hush little baby....' I used to sing to my children when they were babies.

    Beautiful photos of the mockingbird that visited you. Hope he comes back soon. I understand they like to return to a particular yard to nest.

  3. I love Mockingbirds! They are such fierce survivors. I've even seen them take on hawks for their babies, although I'm not sure if that was the male or female. We used to have a mockingbird that perched at the highest point of our roof and angrily chirped at any car the pulled in the driveway. That bird always made me laugh! Did he seriously think he could slay that dragon? Not only do I admire their personalities, I really do think they are beautiful birds and, of course, you have done an excellent job of capturing stunning photos that really show their gorgeous coloring and sassy face. I'm curious. Did you use your new mirror camera to take these photos? The clarity is outstanding! (I do realize that has a lot to do with the photographer too!)

    1. No I did not use the new mirrorless camera. I have my old Sony DSLR with a 600mm lens set up on a tripod in my kitchen and that helps me to get the clarity I need for bird photos.Although the new camera would also work good I haven't invested in the larger lens for it yet.

    2. Wonderful and interesting. Does that mean you take you photos through a window? That is very impressive.

    3. Yes all of my backyard bird and squirrel photos are taken through our sliding glass doors

  4. I love mockingbirds. They really are extraordinary. I could listen to them "rap" and sing for hours (and did when I lived in Texas). Such talented and wondrous creatures. I'm glad you had some special moments with your traveling guest. Thanks for the interesting facts. So much to learn about birds.

  5. I love mockingbirds and your photos of them are beautiful. I had never paid attention to them until I moved to Maryland. Now, I not only see them nearly daily during the summer - we had one nesting in the shrubs near our entry door. He/She dive-bombed us to protect his/her nest (I can't tell the males from the females). I found it fun and just passed by as quickly and calmly as possible. But I worried that my apartment neighbors wouldn't be as tolerant.

  6. Your photos are beautiful as usual. Really nice, wow. I know very little about birds so I'm always interested to learn when I get the chance. It never occurred to me that 'Mockingbird' means the birds are mocking or mimicking the sounds of other birds, lol - makes sense. I learned something new today.

  7. Such handsome birds! I don't think I have ever seen one up close!

  8. Thanks for the introduction to the Mockingbird. I know the varieties of birds that frequent our part of Canada but not so much birds from other parts of the world.


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