Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mockingbird Woes

I love nature.  Really, I do.  I live in a major metropolitan area that has fantastic weather almost year round, and it's often sunny and bright and green, so it's a pleasure to be able to open up the windows and let the breezes waft through.  My street is pretty busy, so of course I get a lot of traffic sounds of cars and trucks, but even so it's a delight to enjoy the climate and I tune a lot of the noise out.

But recently, our neighborhood has had a mockingbird take up residence.

I'm sure you've all heard of the classic 1960 story, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  I read it in junior high, and it's a wonderful tale that really doesn't have much to do with mockingbirds but social injustice and the end of innocence.  I love it.  But this isn't about that.

Back then, mockingbirds would "mock" the bird calls of other birds.  Not so today.  Today, it's all about car alarms.

And the particular mockingbird that has settled in one of the trees near my neighbor's yard has decided to grace our early morning hours with the cries of various Toyotas, Chevys, Mazdas, Fords, and Saturns...

Not necessarily the kind of music one would like to wake up to at 2:00 AM...    And this is incessant--it goes on and on and on and on...  I've stepped out of the house and shaken the tree trunk before, which scares the bird and it flies away for a while.  But inevitably, a couple hours later, it returns to continue it's singing into the wee hours of the morning!

Honestly, it's starting to affect my sleep.  It's been going on for a week!  I've taken to wearing uncomfortable foam earplugs that make me feel like I have a sinus cold, resulting in something like "mock-sleep", making me tired all day.

Surely, surely there is a way to handle this kind of unwelcome guest--it's worse than a neighbor's party because at least you know the party will end eventually...  This warbler seems to require repeat performances and encores that screech on and on and on...  I wouldn't mind if they were bird songs.  But going through the range of harmonic car alarms is a bit trying...  Even car alarms stop in the end.  This bird is worse than the Energizer bunny...

Any thoughts??

Relishing this in my life ain't gonna happen.  LOL!

Albino Mockingbird by glenn e wilson, Creative Commons License.


  1. I read To Kill A Mockingbird for Literature when I was 13 and I had such a great teacher that it wasn't work at all. Over here we have mynahs which are everywhere. They are such terrors that once when I shooed a bunch of them away from my window, they kept flying back squawking at me. Hmm... about your mockingbird, do you own a gun? Hehe, just kidding.

  2. OH, I wish, Jane, but I don't have one, and I think there may be a law about dealing with these "pests" that way within the city limits of San Diego... Maybe a fly swatter is a good alternative? Or a hockey stick? LOL! Oh, dear, it's back... again...

  3. Do you have anything you can use as a "white noise" generator? A fan, an air conditioner? I live with a similar situation, only in my case it's an 8yo w/ autism, rather than a bird, so getting rid of the problem is definitely out of the question :)

    What we do is turn on a fan and an empty humidifier (it's a little louder than the fan, but we don't want the humidity!) in our bedroom during most of the year, and the air conditioner during the summer. Their noise manages to cover our daughter's noise enough to allow us some extra sleep. Well - Dad gets more sleep. Even over the fans, cries of "I want Mommy please!" will still get through :)

    I'd think that if this will work on a child in the same house, it ought to work on a bird outside!

  4. Aha!!! The air conditioner can be set to simply a fan setting! I'm going to give that a try tonight! Brilliant! LOL!


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