Beset by a Mockingbird

We live on the

Guadalupe River
in San Jose, CA where there are
many birds and many kinds of birds. This spring, we are beset
by a particularly noisy

who has started singing outside of our windows
for much of the night. From the descriptions I have read,
this is probably a male bird seeking a mate. I hope he finds
happiness soon because I am tired of being woken up by his lovelorn

For many years, I have seen mockingbirds chasing squirrels and other birds
but this is the first time our garden has hosted a persistent night
singer. According to

      “The Northern Mockingbird, in addition to being a good mimic, is also one of the loudest and most constantly vocal of birds. It often sings through the night, especially unmated males, or when the moon is full. It sings year-round except sometimes for the late-summer molting season. Individual males have repertoires of 50 to 200 songs; females sing as well, but more quietly and less often than males. Mockingbirds usually sing the loudest in the twilight of the early morning when the sun is on the horizon.”

There were so many different songs, I wasn’t sure it was just one bird
singing. Then I read the following from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s

All About Birds
web page: “If you’ve been hearing an endless string of
10 or 15 different birds singing outside your house, you might have a
Northern Mockingbird in your yard.” I have enjoyed reading up on
our garden visitor, happy to have a chance to check out the new
and ambitious Encyclopedia of Life
which seeks to “organize and make available via the Internet virtually all information about life present on Earth.”

On my walk last night, I saw a mockingbird on a telephone wire over
our street, loudly singing many different birds’ songs in quick succession.
True to his latin name Mimus polyglottos, the many-tongued mimic
sang everyone’s song as his own.


Filed under Home & Family

2 responses to “Beset by a Mockingbird

  1. Canogamarty

    Our mockingbird pair set up a nest in the vines above the spa. Previously I had chased them away from a closer location–right above our bedroom window.
    Yesterday, the male divebombed me as I went out into the yard to do some cleanup. Now it’s his territory. Now he not only will keep us awake with his loud and endless night oratory (if we don’t put on the blower to drown out the cacaphony), but attacks us as well. I’ve spoken nicely to the pair but they aren’t listening.

  2. I have to say that I really love the Mockingbirds, and I miss the one that used to sing all night. I guess he lived in my backyard. Now they all seem transient, so one some days (& nights) they are there, and sometimes it is rather quiet.
    I never knew about the late summer moulting season, as you mention here in your blog. I guess that explains why, come Aug. 1, without fail, the singing stops.
    Read more about the Northern Mockingbird and more in my blog.

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