ARTISTS AND BIRDS
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Before Radio, Records, and Hi-Fi

Northern Mockingbird

        What was it like before radio, records, and hi-fi? What did the world listen to? Do you want to find out? Go outside your place of residence and sit for about 15 minutes. Resting a while will be good for you. Do it early in the morning when the air is full of bird songs, and the trees are full of birds. Tune into nature’s music and see northern mockingbirdhow many different songs you actually hear. I know you will love it, but it just won’t work if you bring along a cell phone or stay plugged into your favorite radio station. This music is free, a gift from Mother Nature and the Creator of the Earth.

        We have a mature male Mockingbird living in our Cottonwood Tree who sings 10 or 15 different songs. I heard him sing, and I couldn’t believe my ears. "Honey" I said, "come outside with me and listen to our Mockingbird. Listen to how many songs our Mockingbird sings." Well, it was just before the sun went down when we pulled our chairs under the shade of our trees. There was a light breeze, the smell of grass, the sound of birds, and summer just filled the air. At the very tip top of our Cottonwood tree our male Mockingbird was singing his heart out, doing his best to let every other bird know that this was his territory. Our Mockingbird was no amateur; he had a complete portfolio of bird songs. Some were his songs, some were of the Oriole, Dove, Pine Siskin, Goldfinch, Blackbird, automobile traffic, or whatever.

        The male Mockingbird first stakes out a territory which he obviously defends against all comers be it birds, cats, or people. Then the female shows up and if impressed with his serenading, she stays, lays eggs, and rears a family. Mockingbirds are a joy to watch. They are a pleasure to have around when they have a variety of songs to sing. When young males have only one song and they sing it night and day, you may wish them to go to another planet. Mockingbirds are regularly seen in southern Utah, but in northern Utah it is really special to see one. Just last week one was spotted on Antelope Island and there was a whole lot of rejoicing.

        Do you know what birds are in your yard? Can you correctly identify the specie, or is it an imposter-mimic? I hope you discover nature’s music and what it was like before radio, records, or hi-fi.

        Brenda Rusnell is the artist of the Northern Mockingbird. Thank you Brenda for this lovely color pencil drawing. For more information about Mockingbirds, or if you just want to talk about birds, call Marilyn and Keith Davis of the Red Cliffs Audubon at 435 673-0996.


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