Night Long

Crazy Bird Singing All Night Long

Male
Mockingbirds
get so ramped up on hormones during the breeding season that they often sing all day and all night! Songbirds like mockingbirds sing for two purposes—to attract a mate and to defend their territories. Usually it is just the un-mated males that sing in the middle of the night—males that already have a mate may sing for a couple hours after dark and start up again an hour or so before it gets light. Since singing in birds is related to ambient light levels, in cities or yards with exterior lights, even mated males may sing through the night. Mockingbirds may nest two or three times each year, between late January (in the South, a month or two later in the North) and mid-August—so that can be a lot of singing!

Trying to
stop a bird from singing
is like trying to stop the wind from blowing--very tough! If it works for you, the best bet may be to get some good soft foam earplugs to at least allow you to sleep in comfort. If you do want to declare war on the mockingbirds, you can also try visual deterrents (http://absolutebirdcontrol.com/products/visual-deterrents) like balloons and diverters hung around the tree or nearby to encourage the bird to move elsewhere. These work best during the day, but if you have outdoor lighting they can work at night too. They often have to be moved around every day or so, otherwise the birds just get used to them and realize they aren't really a threat.

If you are tech savvy, you can try recording the singing of the actual mockingbird in your yard, and playing it back to him. That can eventually drive them away, or at least to the other end of their territory, which hopefully is a bit farther away from your home!

In severe cases, you may want to consider altering your landscaping. Make sure you don’t have tall trees with perches for singing near your window. Mockingbirds nest in thick shrubs and hedges, so if you don’t want the birds nesting in your yard, don’t invite them to nest by providing a perfect nesting habitat. Since mockingbirds will feed a lot of insects (including garden pests) to their young during the nesting season, you might actually reconsider evicting them from your yard. As you get to know your mockingbird neighbors better, you may even find yourself less irritated by their nighttime singing.

More Info on Mockingbirds

Northern Mockingbird (All About Birds) [link to: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/northern_mockingbird/id]

Northern Mockingbird (Audubon) [link to: http://birds.audubon.org/species/normoc]

The Zen of Living with Mockingbird Singing [link to: http://www.birdwatching.com/stories/mockingbird.html]

Night Singing (Mass Audubon) [link to: http://www.massaudubon.org/Nature_Connection/wildlife/index.php?subject=Birds:%20Behavior&id=14]

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