Ask Bird Brain - The Bird Advice Column

Dear Bird Brain,

I am very tired today. A bird woke me up in the night. The bird sang for hours. The bird sang lots of tunes. The bird was really loud. Why was this bird awake? I thought birds sleep at night.

Sleepy in Seattle



Dear Sleepy,


You are right. Most birds sleep at night. You heard a mockingbird. They sing both in the day and in the night. They are loud. They sing lots of tunes. They can also sound like other birds.


Mockingbirds are small. But don’t be fooled by their size. They sound like a large bird.


Only the male mockingbird sings. He sings to find a mate. He sings to mark his territory. If you’re another bird and you can hear him, you’re in his territory. So go away.


Mockingbirds often keep people awake. I heard about one bird in Brooklyn. It kept a whole block awake at night. The bird sang from 12:00 to 4:00 each morning. It kept everyone awake for weeks. Finally, one man decided to do something. He sprayed the bird with a hose. It scared the bird away. The bird never came back.


Bird Brain