In the morning I get out of bed, make coffee and walk outside to let the chickens our of their coop. Sometimes I hear the Mockingbird. I don’t know if they sing more in the morning or in late afternoon but morning is when I notice them.

When I first heard one I didn’t know what it was. But compared the homely sounds of the common birds it sounded like a pop star in a third-grade talent show.

too-too-TEE. too-too-TEE. trrrr-IH. dih-dih-dih-dih-dih. brrrrrrr. to-WIT to-WIT to-WIT.

MockingbirdI was stunned by the music of this bird. Lately I’ve become accustomed to hearing it but I still cannot anticipate where her song will go next.  The more astounding thing for me was learning what the bird actually looked like. I expected awesome colors. Maybe not an artsy mosaic but at least a brilliant red or blue.

The bird I finally spotted in the tree was not what I expected. I thought I must be seeing the wrong bird, not the one that was really making those sounds. But a computer search of images confirmed it. The Mockingbird looked as plain as her song was glorious. Grey with some black and white spots.

The name Mockingbird suggests it is just mimicking the sound of other birds. But I don’t hear those songs from anything else. Maybe it is trying to imitate the others. It’s just not a very good impressionist. Maybe in struggling to hear and imitate the rest of the world the Mockingbird is creating a rare beauty it never could have achieved if that had been its goal. Mockingbirds come and go from my neighborhood. I’ll smile when I hear it again.

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One Comment on “Mockingbird”

  1. Vanessa R Says:

    Oh yes! Such an amazing song bird. I also get to hear the mockingbird’s song early in the morning, when the neighborhood is quiet. Although, there’s a season, i don’t know when, maybe spring?, when there’s one singing in the middle of the night and it’s even more beautiful to hear.

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