Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4
#115224 - 11/04/03 01:01 PM Mockingbirds  
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 6,296
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Wordwind  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 6,296
Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
This is a tale you may enjoy reading. It is not word-related, so I apologize.

This past Saturday I was preparing an anthem for our Sunday service. The music was rather difficult, so I spent the entire day working out difficult passages. About ten in the morning, I heard pecking outside the living room window and spotted a mockingbird tapping there. I assumed that the bird had seen its image and was simply pecking at it.

I returned to the piano and my work where I continued to hear intermittent tapping at the window that went on till noon when I got my camera and began snapping photographs of the mockingbird. When I went to the window, the bird would not leave. It looked at me, stopped its pecking, and would fly into a holly bush, but it would return as soon as I returned to the piano--and it would begin tapping on and off.

The mockingbird accompanied my playing until about 5:30 p.m.

The next morning (Sunday) when I warmed up at 6:30 a.m., the bird returned.

I didn't play again till Monday night. No bird.

But this morning with school being out, I began to work on the accompaniment for "The King and I," for which I'll be the high school accompanist, and the bird returned and began tapping.

This is a remarkable little bird. It either hates to death what I am playing--or it is perhaps trying to get at a foe--or perhaps it loves the sound of the piano.

Just thought you might like puzzling this one out with me.


#115225 - 11/04/03 01:08 PM Re: Mockingbirds  
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 555
maahey Offline
addict
maahey  Offline
addict

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 555
What a lovely experience, WW! I think he likes the music. Why don't you open the window today and play for a little bit and see what he does? And do, come back here and tell us what happened; I for one, will be waiting to hear.


#115226 - 11/04/03 02:00 PM Re: Mockingbirds  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel
wwh  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
I have long been interested in mockingbirds since I learned long ago that there allegedly was one in the Arnold Arboretum whose song was said to be recognizable as beginning of a Beethoven composition. Here in Van Nuys, mockingbirds are very common, and I have heard many of them sing. But I have never heard them imitate another bird, or any music. Maybe Wordwind's bird was trying to learn the music she was playing. Dear WW: have you any reports of mockingbirds copying other birds songs, or phrases of music?


#115227 - 11/04/03 02:18 PM Re: Mockingbirds  
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 6,296
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Wordwind  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 6,296
Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
I have heard countless reports by farmers around here who have said to have *witnessed mockingbirds imitate songs of other local birds. I haven't witnessed this myself, so the farmers' reports may be taken with a grain of salt upon the bird's tail.

maahey: I did open the window on Saturday afternoon, but the bird never entered. My aged parents fussed at me--said that if the bird had entered, we would have had a helluva time getting it out and it would have soiled the carpet.

If et' reads here, I can email him the digital photos I took of the bird on Sat and he can post them, if he would be so kind!


#115228 - 11/05/03 02:02 AM Re: Mockingbirds  
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,210
Buffalo Shrdlu Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Buffalo Shrdlu  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 7,210
Vermont
If et' reads here, I can email him the digital photos

send 'em, WW!!



formerly known as etaoin...
#115229 - 11/05/03 04:13 AM Re: Mockingbirds  
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 555
maahey Offline
addict
maahey  Offline
addict

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 555
All right WW, wwh, eta....be prepared for a treat of links! The first is a brief overview from JHU on the research into the capability of birds and humans of picking one particular sound amidst many others, as in say, a loud room or a forest.

http://www.jhu.edu/~gazette/janmar97/mar1097/hulse.html

And this one has an interview with a gentleman who records similar experiences to yours, WW, with ravens, mockingbirds and blue jays! Nice interview too! I think he is a musician; he makes a reference to a CD in the end of the interview and the last url is a link to a CD by someone of the same name, (David Dunn - I went a-googling for him), called Angels and Insects. There is a brief audio clip there; listen...you will love it.

http://artscilab.org/~david/writings/Interv2.pdf

http://www.earthear.com/catalog/angels.html

WW, am convinced he is trying to learn what you are playing. Try playing the same thing everyday at the same time, for a week or so and maybe you will wake up one morning to sweet violin-like bird notes! Wouldn't that be simply marvellous!!


#115230 - 11/05/03 09:42 AM Re: Mockingbirds  
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 6,296
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Wordwind  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 6,296
Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
It would be, maahey!

However, we're going out of town to NY for several days. I do hope the bird will still be here--and he probably will.

et'...

If I have a minute while packing tonight, I'll send you my digital photos of the bird. Will you PM me your email address? Thanks.


#115231 - 11/05/03 01:16 PM Re: Mockingbirds  
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 555
maahey Offline
addict
maahey  Offline
addict

Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 555
"we're going out of town" - , shall await further postings from you on this.


#115232 - 11/05/03 01:56 PM Re: Mockingbirds  
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel
wwh  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 13,858
I guess the Van Nuys mockingbirds just aren't as talented as those elsewhere. They have a wide repertoire, but I have never heard them mimick anything I could recognize.Here is one more apparently knowledgeable article about them:
http://www.baynature.com/2003julysept/atn_2003julysept.html


#115233 - 11/06/03 01:23 AM Re: Mockingbirds  
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 6,296
Wordwind Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Wordwind  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 6,296
Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
I am in the process of sending et' two photographs. Wish I had more time, but must go to sleep now to get up early to teach and then get on the road early to go to NY for a long weekend.

Anyway, et', those photographs are probably not the best in the bunch, but I'll send you some more later that I cull out of about, oh, fifteen I took of the bird.

maahey, I can tell you honestly that if the bird is no longer here when I return, I shall be sad.


Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4

Moderated by  Jackie 

Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics13,878
Posts223,922
Members9,021
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
Dilys, Abishek, Rogerdoctor, SquareDonut, WonderW
9021 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
1 registered members (wofahulicodoc), 57 guests, and 3 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
Top Posters(All Time)
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,538
LukeJavan8 8,978
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.014s Queries: 14 (0.003s) Memory: 2.7291 MB (Peak: 2.8612 MB) Zlib disabled. Server Time: 2017-09-25 04:37:14 UTC