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Northern Mockingbird - song in the night


Kaaren Perry
 

This morning, at 2:30 am, I was awaked by a short song from a Northern Mockingbird.  I always think of the distinctive night song as something that comes with the breeding season and this Fall singing seemed worth investigating.  

I remembered a similar middle of the night Mockingbird song last October, at the time I briefly wondered and then let it go.  I've recently also noticed Mockingbird song fragments during the day and again wondered what was going on. I found this well sourced article from the Washington Post and thought I'd share it.  Maybe you too are hearing their Fall song? 

Here is an excerpt from the article:
Fall mockingbird songs

Mild days, chilly nights, mockingbird songs: Sounds like springtime, but it's only a dress rehearsal.

In October, young northern mockingbirds are carving out their territories and stepping up to debut their songs.

Most of the prominent warbling is performed by single males trying to attract a mate. Females also sing, softly and less frequently, and sometimes establish fall territories of their own without a mate. But it may be more advantageous to pair up in the fall, giving those birds a head start on breeding once spring arrives.

Mockingbirds' autumn song will subside in November, but singing returns in late winter with a repertoire distinctly different from fall's collection.


Sources: The Birds of North America: Life Histories for the 21st Century, The Auk, Journal of Field Ornithology