Being born and raised in the Bronx inures one to noises that might disturb or awaken those from more peaceful areas. Our apartment faces a very noisy street so I’ve learned to sleep through car alarms, sirens, and screaming punk kids (can’t stand those little punks!) Imagine my surprise, then, when my blissful slumber was shattered the other night by none other than a mockingbird.
Northern Mockingbirds do quite well in my neighborhood. The multifarious sampled triplets of Mimus polyglottos accompany most of our daily activities, at least this time of year. Considering that most of our local avifauna is of the invasive variety, without a decent musician in the bunch, the mockingbird’s staccato song is usually very welcome. But 3:45 AM is hardly the time and right outside my window is definitely not the place.
The Northern Mockingbird truly deserves its reputation as the “many-tongued mimic.” A male mockingbird can belt out the songs of thirty or more different birds without coming close to exhausting its repertoire. But it’s the bird’s other material, its uncanny impersonations of different animals and machines, that have established its reputation as our most proficient and creative songster. Part of the mockingbird’s advantage over other avians is physical; it uses more of the muscles in its vocal organ, the syrinx, than most other passerines do, many more than non-passerines like raptors or waterfowl. But the mockingbird also has a mind for music. It’s been theorized that this species has more brain matter devoted to song memory than most other birds do.
Why does the mockingbird sing? Why else but to attract potential mates. The vocal mimicry trait seems to indicate that lyrical flow is an especially potent aphrodisiac in mockingbird circles. That leads us to our midnight maestro, putting on an after-hours performance that sounded to my trained ears like a mash-up of all the neighborhood’s car alarms. Mimus polyglottos is a diurnal bird, courteously restricting most activity to daylight hours. However, unmated males, those poor suitors who lack the vocal flair or versatility to get the girl, are known to descant in the darkness. The mockingbird outside our window, carelessly interrupting my beauty sleep, simply needs a little love. Just because he’s lonely doesn’t mean he should take it out on us…
We live in Lakeland Fl and have a mockingbird that flies into every window on our house to the point it leaves blood and other excretions on the windows. This has been going on for months now and is getting to be quite an aggravation. Do you have any idea what is causing this and mainly how to stop it?
I have a mockingbird that sings for hours every night beginning at one or two in the morning….how do I stop him so that I can sleep?
same problem here, that’s why i am awake at 4am…and have been since 2:30am. second night this, apparently lonely, bird has awakened me. after doing the research now, i am glad to see this is normal behaviorm especially during full moon.
I have the same problem. I would like the bird to just go away. He has been singing nightly for about 2 weeks usually starting at about 3am.
I too have been awakened many a night over the past month by some kind of bird (I’m not able to identify it) that starts sounding off in a tree below my window in the early morning hours. I haven’t been able to spot him (assuming it’s a “he”). Could this be a mockingbird? Are there nocturnal species that sing so loudly and wildly? I live just above Columbia University, right off Broadway. I’m happy to have many birds active and singing in the apartment complex where I live, but I too join the other writers in wondering how to successfully shoo away this little dude without harming him. He’s really made me lose a lot of sleep! Many thanks, Bill
I love the night songs of my neighborhood mockingbird. It sounds joyous to me, even though I know it is a male singing from loneliness, which makes his singing that much more brave and poignant. He is no quitter, but sings all night long seeking his love in the darkness. Would that all the lonely be so brave and just sing.
we just moved into a new neighborhood. I grew up in the city and I am used to noise, but the noise I have now is so ANNOYING! It starts about 5 or 6 when it begins to get dark and goes on until the sun comes up. It is a chirp-chirp-chirp-chirp…sounds like a whistle. but just over and over beeping noise. It never stops for longer than about 2 minutes!
Can’t find what tree its in and I have NO idea what this is…any help would be appreciated! I am nine months preganant and sleep is deprived enough,,the bird is adding to my aggrivation!!
We live in New England, more specific Massachusetts, in a suburb of Boston.
I wrote from up here on Morningside Heights (in Manhattan)last July 6 to complain about a mockingbird who drove me sleepless. He showed up again this year, around the middle of April, but after a couple of weeks seems to have found his mate. I’m very happy for the guy, and even happier to attempt full nights of restful sleep!
Ear plugs are the only answer.
It may be a “Northern” mockingbird that is carrying on in the holly tree outside my bedroom window everynight, but he needs to go back up North! I live in Charlotte, NC. I’m an avid bird watcher, but the love is lost when I can’t get a good night’s sleep. I’m ready to shoot him and put him out of both of our misery!
The old-time classic movie and book titled ” To Kill A Mockingbird ” strongly comes to mind lately as our neighborhood has been serenaded by the Pavarotti of all Mockingbirds ! I am somewhat entertained by its creative variations of “music”, but have to admit that the first night that I heard him sing, I couldn’t sleep because I found him very annoying. But now, when he doesn’t sing, ( and presumably has found himself a mate, hopefully, ( or he got laryngitis !) I miss him. But I am happy if he’s happy … I am also very grateful that there are not a “Flock” of them that fly in each year, and sing us out of our neighborhoods ! Next Spring I’ll buy some ear plugs !
I work in an ER in Atlanta. This past Thursday night, I noticed a mockingbird singing his little heart out in a nearby tree. Hour after hour, throughout the evening–he was still singing when I left the building after 2am. When I got to the parking deck, several blocks away, there was a second mockingbird, also belting out the blues. I drove home eight miles or so to my condo complex. As I pulled in, I heard the unmistakable calls of yet a third mockingbird. It was a balmy evening, up in the seventies, which is unusual here for February. I suppose the temperature put all our feathered opera singers in the mood for company, hmmm?
Here in Sacramento I have been kept up for about 2.5 weeks by a mockingbird that has taken up residence in a tree just outside my house. He (presumably) shuts up immediately when I shine my flashlight into the tree, but I can’t do that all night obviously. I am going to see if I can find a “strobe flashlight” that I could tape to my camera tripod and leave on all night. The point is to annoy him so much that he goes somewhere else. I hope it works, because I am not putting up with this every night for the next several months!
Did the strobe light detour
the mocking bird??
we had this problem at my work. it was some bush near by they were eating off of that had berries on it that made the birds for lack of a better word, drunk or changed their vision. Work removed the bushes and the problem went away.
I fixed this problem people, do it at youir own risk, I simply had enough, thought neighbours where doing it, so I started doing this chirping kind of whistle myself, trust me, 3 years…. and this last week have realised it works, you have to find the right pitctch and hold it, like the same note on an instrument lmao!!!
Right now im trying to figure out what frequency this is for myself, because this is what happens now, I didnt care neighbours knew I whistled, most of them assholes anyway, but get this, if you do this whistle correctly, hold it for about 10-15 seconds, your head starts buzzing, like your in a glass container and everything is vibrating, thats the note you want, no matter how softly you do it, with windows shut, the birds respond, even if its softer then ever, especially the main culprit who was bugging me, I sort of began to mimmick it, now the thing leaves tree, im loving life now rofl.
I hear the neighbours going crazy now lol, they try copy my whistling to stop it or make it leave, they finally realised im not crazy and why I was whistling lmao.
Trust me I know, very nasty stuff people, starts in september, ends in january, about 3:30-5am, even until noon, then just as you think you got peace, again 2-3 hours, oh and keep this in mind, check how to make “LIVE” bird traps, and even give the bastards a bird bath ;D
I will be trapping the ones I dont like, taking them somewhere very very very far away, semi desert like, and bobs your uncle.
BTW I just realised im in Australia, sorry if this doesnt help