To take respite during these often-hot Texas June days, I have been taking solace under a covered outdoor area on Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus. The shade provides a much welcome place to cool down, have lunch, and check emails, as well as answer texts after I have been out on the campus checking camera traps or doing biological monitoring.
Thankfully, a cool, gentle breeze has made these times more enjoyable. Most notably, it has afforded me to hear the musical melodies coming from this mesquite tree.
This one tree no matter what time of day whether its late morning, mid-afternoon or late afternoon is conversing with me through song through a little bird. Often mesquite trees might talk but it is through the high winds causing the leaves to rattle like they are playing cymbals on a drum set in a rock band.
As of late, it is one particular bird that’s been doing the majority of the vocalizing and harmonizing. It’s not a prismatic little bird helping it stand out amongst the green leaves of the mesquite tree or any tree it is singing in. It’s just a plain black and white bird.
What it lacks in color it makes up for with its voice with its potential of several hundred different vocalizations and songs. The bird only sticks to around 200 vocalizations and it seems the males sing more loudly than the females. This bird can even mimic a dog barking if it so chose to do so or a siren. Yes – it does have its own song to communicate with a mate and their young, but it’s the ability to mimic different sounds that make this bird special.
Have you guessed the bird yet?
This lone mesquite tree has a pair of northern mockingbirds playing amongst the branches and leaves. I have seen the birds flittering and hovering over the tree but mostly they sit in the tree regaling me with virtuosos of their calls and songs.
If you listen, mesquite trees can talk. They can serenade you in ways you least expect if only you listen.
Yes – a northern mockingbird.
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