BirdNote: Mockingbird

CURWOOD: It's Living on Earth, I'm Steve Curwood. BIRDNOTE/MOCKING BIRD [BIRD NOTE THEME ] CURWOOD: Those of us up in the northern part of North America are starting to think about getting out into our gardens – at last – but already the cardinals are singing loudly outside the windows. And as Michael Stein explains in today's BirdNote, they're not alone. The Mockingbird A Virtuoso of Variety Northern Mockingbird Perched. (Tom Grey) [NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD SONG] STEIN: Some birds have a lot to say. But few surpass the Northern Mockingbird. [SONG OF NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD] Within its range in the US, which is most of the country except the northern West and Midwest, youll recognize the mockingbirds song instantly. [SONG OF NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD] A very distinctive song, but perhaps not a thing of beauty. Northern Mockingbird (Kenneth Cole Schneider) But while the mockingbird may not sing beautifully, its a virtuoso of variety, persistence, and mimicry. Mockingbirds sing all year in the breeding season to attract mates, the rest of the year to claim feeding territories. In spring, a male mockingbird sings all day, hundreds of variations then sings all through the night! [MOCKINGBIRD] The aptly named mockingbird is also an uncanny mimic. A mockingbird might imitate, in succession, birds as different as a bobwhite quail, a chat, a sandpiper even a cardinal – then cap it off with meow of a cat and a few phrases of car alarm. [SELECTION WITH MIMICS] And hes just getting warmed up. [MOCKINGBIRD] [LONG RUN OF THE SONG OF THE NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD] ### Written by Bob Sundstrom Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds (ML) at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Songs of the Mockingbird [94375] and [94374] and [85197] recorded by W. Hershberger; and [118628] recorded by G.A. Keller. Producer: John Kessler Executive Producer: Chris Peterson 2014 Tune In to March 2014 Narrator: Michael Stein CURWOOD: For photos of the mockingbird looking like himself, not some other bird, hop on over to our website

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