Is this a Northern Mockingbird?
By J.D. Lasica
This summer and fall, the most melodious bird I’ve ever heard kept a regular vigil outside my home here in the San Francisco East Bay.
I’m really curious if anyone can identify it. Take a listen:
• It spend a lot of time in a tree next door, and I snapped the photos above (but needed a more powerful lens) while it flitted up in the air about six feet and then descended on the top branch again.
• It was as nocturnal as I am, with much of its chirping and warbling taking place between midnight and 2 am. The sounds were fantastically primal, with at least a dozen variations coming from the same bird.
Leif Utne, who’s become something of a naturalist up in the Pacific Northwest, offered to take a crack at this a while back, and one Twitter friend sent along these links:
• Northern Mockingbird, from Field Guide to Birds of North America, which notes that its terrain includes Northern California.
• Know your garden bird song (Guardian) — the song thrush could be another candidate.
So, mockingbird, or not?
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.