Northern Mockingbird

June 12, 2015

TODAY MY BLOGGING COMRADE, H.J. Ruiz of ‘Avian101’ ( https://avian101.wordpress.com/2015/06/12/law-and-order-2/) features his stories and photographs of The Northern Mockingbird, a bird I was asked to do a miniature of, but not a bird which we (to my knowledge) have populating the Interior of British Columbia (it is probably just too cold here).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The Northern Mockingbird, 2″ x 3″, watercolour, L. Rice-Sosne Collection

I HAD TO RELY ON REFERENCE PHOTOS and see from H. J.s photos that its feet are quite a distinctive size relative to the body.  And it seems from photos to be a very sharp-eyed, inquisitive, decisive–almost wary–garden ‘defender’, as H.J. declares the Mockingbird to be.  I’d perhaps have made its wings a degree darker had I had his photos before me, but I’m okay with the results.

OF COURSE, BOOMERS LIKE ME grew up hearing Patti Page singing ‘Mockingbird Hill’, as well as Inez and Charlie Foxx’s ‘Mockingbird’  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g47_NI1CWNQ — which my parents hated and I loved ).  It was, to me anyhow, later perfected by James Taylor and Carly Simon — watch here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmnTcBdpbHI . So all I really knew was the lore, rather than the bird.

AND I HAVE OVER THE YEARS, come to associate The Northern Mockingbird with The Old South, whether warranted or not, I just don’t really know.

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8 Responses to “Northern Mockingbird”

  1. In spite of the “northern” in the name of this mockingbird, the species is among the most common birds in Austin (Texas), so your association with the Old South is warranted. As familiar as the mockingbird is here, I’ve managed to get decent pictures of one only about once a year:

    https://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/?s=mockingbird

    By the way, the map at

    http://tinyurl.com/qh2szdm

    confirms that the northern mockingbird doesn’t make it very far north into British Columbia and is rarely found even at the southern fringes of the province.

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  2. The version of “Fever” that I remember is the one sung by Peggy Lee. There’s a history of the song at

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fever_%28Little_Willie_John_song%29

    Only now have I learned that the song was written by Eddie Cooley and Otis Blackwell. It’s too bad that singers often get the credit for a popular song even as the creators of the song go unsung. A comparable situation would be that one of your paintings was displayed nicely framed in a gallery, and we were told the name of the framer but not your name.

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  3. Beautiful painting, and I loved hearing the original recording of ‘Mockingbird’ – my brother had the vinyl 45 and I listened to it incessantly.

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  4. hahaha, cynthia, it’s a delight to know we’ve experienced things from the same ‘cultural’ background. As a pastor’s child, I recall on one camping excursion we arrived late at night and ended up parked next to a tent trailer which had a 45rpm record player going. It was stuck on ‘repeat’, and all night long Patti Page sang ‘Fever’, a song which always sent my parents into orbit. I hummed it at breakfast and got ‘the look’. (smile) Thank you for your always stopping by.

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  5. You captured this bird wonderfully. I see them here in Maryland every day. Well done (no surprise)!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That little fellow is just lovely. I share your fondness and acquaintance with those songs. I’ve actually had a “conversation” with a mockingbird….they do “mock” what you say, if you call out to them… sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You always see what others miss, behaviour-wise H. J.

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  8. avian101 said

    Thanks for the mention Lance! This is a remarkable bird! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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