Female Northern Cardinal (Wikipedia)
Least Flycatcher (Wikipedia)
Tufted Titmouse (Wikipedia)
Ah, even though it is still February, in The Woodlands, Texas spring is in the air and trees! Today, I saw what I thought was a Tufted Titmouse clinging to the branch of a small birch tree. But then I spotted a mother Northern Cardinal and four other tiny versions of her and knew that I had instead spotted an adorable family.
What was even more remarkable than the sight of them was that they sat there and let us watch them. Not one of them flew away out of fear. The Northern Cardinal family even allowed a little Least Flycatcher to sit on a lower branch without trying to chase it away. I had read that Northern Cardinals were territorial, but there was no evidence of this kind of aggressive behavior here.
So glad that I started bird-watching. They are such adorable creatures!
Sad to say that none of these cute photos are mine. Still, they are great, aren’t they? Click on the photo and it will take you to their origin.
Typical Voice of Tufted Titmouse http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/tufted_titmouse/id/ac
Typical Voice of Least Flycatcher http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/least_flycatcher/id/ac
Typical Voice of Northern Cardinal http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Cardinal/id/ac
Northern Mockingbird spreads its wings.
Here is yet another delightful experience of mine with a mockingbird as the key player…
The other day, I stood in the neighborhood playground singing the nursery rhyme, “Sing a Song of Six Pence” with the two-year-old boy that I have charge of from 9 to 2, M-F. As we repeated the words and added silly hand gestures to impersonate the black birds in the song, the king, the queen and the maid, I heard the sweet twittering of a mockingbird that perched in a birch tree just beyond the fence that surrounds the play area.
It occurred to me that the little avian was trying its best to sing along with us. So, we started another round of the song and sure enough, the little gray bird with white on its underside and long black tail feathers, tweeted several different bird calls that seemed to indicate that it was doing its best to mimic into bird song the notes we sang so lustily.
In my mind, this delightful incident went to solidify the amazing character of these little song birds. Their feathers may not possess lush, magnificent colors, but their intelligence and ability to mimic what they hear goes a long way toward their popularity poll.
Also, with the advent of the mockingjays of Hunger Games fame, this little bird should become all that much more popular!
(The photograph at the right, made me think of a beautiful girl, dressed in a kimono, dancing. Or perhaps, the little mockingbird is conducting a symphony.)
Photo by: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Manjithkaini
Northern Mockingbird (Includes example of its song.): http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_mockingbird/sounds/ac
- Bird that “Meows” Like a Cat (creativemusingsoflediar.com)
- Who needs a watchdog – I have a yellow-rumped warbler (pattisjarrett.wordpress.com)
- Northern Mockingbird (roketman.wordpress.com)
- Northern Mockingbird Editing (bobzeller.wordpress.com)
- Bird Songs (showjoy.wordpress.com)
- Mockingbird Song (explorationart.wordpress.com)
Northern Mockingbirds near Austin, Texas
The other day, I was at the playground with my almost three-year-old charge, Adam when we heard a cat “meowing“. Or at least, we thought it was a cat. The only problem was that the sound came from a copse of trees that sits near where Adam and his little friends were playing. When I say it came from the trees, I mean the treetops. It was the distinct “meow” that a cat makes, yet it was a repeated syllable like that of a bird call. After a few moments of listening to this amazing sound, I had to conclude that it was in fact avian and not feline that was making the sound.
When I got home, I booted up my laptop and began searching for who the songster could have been. The first thing I did was to look up what I thought was the most obvious and logical answer to my query–a catbird. Here is the site where you can hear the Gray Catbird‘s voice: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/gray_catbird/id/ac. Yet this was not the sound I had heard from the copse of trees near the playground.
I live in East Central Texas, just north of Houston. So, mockingbirds are quite plentiful there. In fact, I see them everyday that Adam and I go out for our walks. Because I know how talented and awesome these mimickers are, I started a search entitled,”can mockingbirds meow like a cat”. Here is the result: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yup8slN9FVU. At last, I had found the remarkable songster.
This is the reason I adore these little birds so very much and am incredibly proud to say that they are the Texas State bird. These gray, white and black songbirds may not have the most colorful feathers, but they make up for that with their charming personalities and as multi talented singers.
With the popularity of the Hunger Games and the mockingjay, this little bird should skyrocket even closer to the top of the songbird chart.
As always, I hope you enjoyed this little journey into my world!
- Mockingbird Song (explorationart.wordpress.com)
- Sweet Warbler (creativemusingsoflediar.com)