Whenever I’ve heard a bird singing, here in Virginia, and I haven’t been able to recognise its song, it’s always been a Mockingbird. There’s a fabulous Northern Mockingbird in this tree. It’s been singing a song I don’t recognise:
It sets off flying towards me:
It does a strange dance in mid air. They eat insects, so I’m wondering whether it’s able to catch them on the wing:
They are so manoeuvrable in the air:
The illustration by John James Audubon is typical in its genius:
I haven’t found its nest full of snakeskin though.
The scientific name of the Northern Mockingbird is Mimus polyglottos. Mimus means mimic and polyglottus means many-tongued.
No wonder I can’t ever recognise its song: it’s a many-tongued mimic.