Posted by: cassymuronaka | June 14, 2011

Let’s all sing like the birdies

Since the young family next door moved in about eight years ago, they have gone through a series of dogs of various sizes, all of whom have shared two major characteristics: they bark constantly in their backyards, and they are masters of escape.

However, none of the canine noise compares to that created by the dynasty of mockingbirds that has parked itself outside my bedroom and living room windows for 15 years.

Right now, the lead bird is teaching all the little mockers to learn to sing and mimic, which is what mockingbirds do for 23 and a half hours out of the day.  This bird sits on the telephone line outside my house and directs its chicks firmly and clearly, as if it were a nun in Catholic school. As I type this post, I am in the back room of my house, and all the windows are closed. Still, I can hear the creature loudly address the neighborhood. If I step into my living room, I will be able to hear the increasingly stronger cheeps of the little birds hidden in the giant tree that shades the front of the house.

When we first moved into our home, one particular mockingbird perched itself directly above our bedroom window, and every night precisely at 2:30 am, it would begin to sing until dawn.  It was phenomenally annoying, but the music was pretty in its own way. This went on for about 6 years.

However, these days the mockingbirds no longer tend to make up their own songs, but they imitate dominant neighborhood noises.  One night my husband sat up in bed and said, “Is that bird imitating a car alarm?

It most certainly was.

The current bird favorite is vocally repeating the sprinkler system pattern of the elementary school across the street. The sprinklers have cranked up for the summer and they run a lot more often than they do in the winter, because, of course, it is hotter.  And this sound has caught the interest of every mockingbird for blocks around.

The sprinklers are easier on the ears than hearing simulated car alarms all day and night, but this is no consolation when you anticipate a new flock of energetic young mockingbirds, all cheerily hopping from branch to branch while they hiss a sprinkler pattern in unison.

And just because they have learned this new sound doesn’t mean that the little birds will lose interest in mocking car alarms that go off in the night.



  1. Sympathy to you, Cassy. A few years ago we installed something called “The Quiet Window” because of the noise the neighbors’ dogs were making all night long under our our bedroom window. It is a sliding window that fits inside of the window you already have. It made the bedroom totally silent. But maybe you would have trouble sleeping in a quiet bedroom after all these years of becoming accustomed to noise.

    • Those windows are good to know about. Thanks Janice.

  2. Oh, my goodness how do you get any sleep. I hope the mockingbirds don’t start barking like the dogs now that would be too much. I am sorry your neighbors do not teach their dogs better manners. I am new to WordPress and your blog caught my eye as I was checking my reader. Glad I stopped by I enjoyed reading your post.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Welcome to the blog….

  3. ah, nothing like hearing a car alarm in a different form. Here in central Oklahoma, we also have a mocker that mimics the car alarm- It took awhile before I realized it was a mockingbird. Fortunately, that one lives in town several miles away or I might hear it on those clear nights with a full moon when that sing at midnight! My sister had one that neighed like her horses and I have heard of them imitating a hammer striking an anvil.

    • Oh Lisa, I LOVE the idea of one whinnying like a horse. The anvil: not so much. I’d probably rip out all my trees if I had to listen to that.

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