Saturday, October 6, 2012

Patriotic Mockingbird

I have a few photographs left over from my series of blog posts I shared with you from last March's road-trip across the western United States. The first is a patriotic Northern Mockingbird singing atop a flag pole at the The Flower Fields of Carlsbad, California. Farnsworth et al. (2011) write that both sexes of mockingbirds sing. Repertoire's often contain over 150 song types. This repertoire changes and increases as the bird ages. Mockingbirds mimic other birds, non-avian species and even mechanical sounds. I have heard mockingbirds in Washington, DC, imitate trains, complete with whistles and high-pitched squeals. Why so much mimicry? Mockingbirds defend territory against multiple species. A large repertoire may also communicate fit genes. Such a playlist may also indicate the knowledge and fitness that often accompany old age.

Note on the upper right column of this blog, my dragonfly book is offered at a 20% discount until 23 October 2012. Click the book graphic. Enter the word "FANS" when you checkout of the Blurb site.

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