Mockingbird

DSC_0233sig Listen to the mockingbird. With thousands of other issues demanding our attention why should anyone give attention to a bird?  The mockingbird’s appearance is not the reason. It is a predominantly gray bird with brown tones and a white-gray belly. Nothing there to get excited about. It does have white patches on its upper and lower wings surfaces. Not enough. It is a medium-sized bird-so are hundreds of others. Like many other birds its diet is insects in season and seeds and fruit in cold months. Nothing here either. Its average life span is just 8 years. Why listen to the mocking-bird? Take a moment, listen to the mockingbird yourself (it sings for 7 minutes nonstop).

See what I mean?

The song of the real bird has inspired songwriters. In 1855 “Listen to the Mockingbird” was the title of a song which became popular in both the United States during the Civil War and later in Europe. It is estimated that by 1905 this song sold over 20 million copies in sheet music. The mockingbird still inspires those who hear it. It is the state bird of Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas. Only the Cardinal and Meadowlark have the distinction of being state bird more often.

People living the north Midwestern states will never hear this marvelous bird since it does not occur there. The residents of southern states can’t ignore it.

Why listen to the mockingbird? Unpaired males sing continuously, 24 hours a day, during mating season. The Latin name for mockingbird is mimus polyglottos, it means “many tongued mimic” Male mockingbirds can learn up to 200 songs in their short lifetimes. But, that is not the only astonishing thing about mockingbird song. Males have different repertoires for spring and fall! Some males learn to mimic sirens, dog barks even musical instruments! Listen to the mockingbird, it seems like a reasonable request, now doesn’t it? (For northerners, perhaps it’s worth a trip south!)

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Bill Staines wrote the song “All God’s Critters Have a Place in the Choir. The mockingbird is God’s premier soloist. We get to be in its audience. Amazing bird, even more amazing, the living God who created the mockingbird. Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind! Psalm 66:5

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