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Found Friday: Name This Bird

About a week ago, Kung Fu Panda and I walked to the park. (Or rather, I walked to the park and pushed him in the stroller.) Most of my pictures and videos were, naturally, of him; however, on the way home, we walked by some beautiful flowers. I still like to photograph nature's beauty as I find it; I just don't get around to posting them very often.

More interesting was a bird we passed, which was sitting on a power line and chirping a constantly mutating song.

Instead of sticking to one main sound, the bird seemed to be listening to other birds in the neighborhood and changing its song accordingly.

Unfortunately, the bird's a bit high, so it's difficult to see the bird's markings. It appeared to be mainly gray, with a long, dramatic tail and a thin, dark beak.

I'd like to imagine the bird was composing a new song just for us. Perhaps it was aware of the baby sitting in the stroller 20 feet below, admiring the "birdie" his mama had just pointed out. "Oh, a small human," it said, "and this one appears to be a music lover. Maybe I'll show off." So he composed a special tune just for us.

But in actuality, it's either an animal mimic or simply a bird with a sophisticated musical repertoire. Can anyone tell me?

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( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 24th, 2011 08:27 pm (UTC)
I wish I could see the bird. But it sure sounds like some of the ones we have around here. Very pretty!
Jun. 24th, 2011 09:58 pm (UTC)
A friend tells me it's a mockingbird. Don't know how well you can see this picture, because it's smallish, but this is what she says they look like:


I think she's right. This video on YouTube has a better shot of a mockingbird and two minutes of sound:

Jun. 24th, 2011 11:30 pm (UTC)
How funny, from your discription of how it could sing like other birds I wondered if it could be a mockingbird but without knowing what one looked like I did not want to just guess. The links were great so thanks for sending those along.
Jun. 24th, 2011 11:35 pm (UTC)
No problem! I'm really glad now that I got it on video; its song was beautiful.
Jun. 24th, 2011 11:43 pm (UTC)
Saw your other comment asking where I am at. I'm live in the central valley here in CA. The middle of the state. We live in a complex of condos where we have a few mockingbirds.

Several years ago we put up gates for the complex and we noticed that once in a while we heard the cherp of the gate when it is messed up and when we came to fix it the gate was fine. It was a few weeks later when we realized that we had mockingbirds mimicking the sound of the gates. So funny and frustrating at the same time. I still double check just to make sure it is really the gate and not the birds. Those silly birds.
Jun. 24th, 2011 11:47 pm (UTC)
That's so funny! I bet you're there lots of similar stories about mockingbirds. This one seemed very keen on repeating all the other bird calls he was hearing. It must be weird for the other birds.
Jun. 25th, 2011 12:48 am (UTC)
Yes, it was awesome hering it sing so pretty.

They sing like other birds in our area as well. I love hearing them. I usualy have someone point out that it is one of the mockingbirds. I truly find them to be an interesting bird over all. For myself this is no surprise though because in general I like the larger birds like parets and such. Especially the ones that can talk.
Jun. 24th, 2011 09:59 pm (UTC)
BTW, I forget: in what region do you live?
Jun. 24th, 2011 08:58 pm (UTC)
Whatever it is, it sure is pretty! Sadly the only bird mimics which are coming to me are lyre birds and bower birds so I am not very helpful. The only zoology subjects I did were Australian Wildlife ones!
Jun. 24th, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC)
A friend from this area of the Mid-Atlantic suggests that it is a mockingbird. I think she's right.
Jun. 25th, 2011 05:50 pm (UTC)
Hehe! He mocks not mimics! XD
Jun. 28th, 2011 06:05 pm (UTC)
He's making fun of the other birds.
Jun. 25th, 2011 05:29 am (UTC)
I've always wondered about mockingbirds! Nice to hear one - we don't have those around here.

Most of our "song" birds that I hear are either robins, or jay-type birds (magpies, blue jays, grey jays, etc). They shriek rather unpleasantly. The crows have a lovely sound to them, as long as they don't think you're an enemy. It's quite conversational really, but they aren't great to have around the other song-birds.
Jun. 28th, 2011 06:06 pm (UTC)
We had a lot of crows in my hometown. They sound like home to me.
Jun. 25th, 2011 06:31 am (UTC)
I think it may be a mocking bird. I love to just sit and listen to them.
Jun. 28th, 2011 06:07 pm (UTC)
I think you're right.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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