August 1st, 2019
Texas designated the mockingbird as official state bird in 1927. The Texas legislature noted that the mockingbird; "... is found in all parts of the State, in winter and in summer, in the city and in the country, on the prairie and in the woods and hills ... is a singer of distinctive type, a fighter for the protection of his home, falling, if need be, in its defense, like any true Texan ..."
The Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) was a common pet from the late 1700s to the early 1900s. After the cagebird trade was stopped, the Mockingbird made a come-back in many areas, especially in Texas. During recent decades, it has expanded its numbers, and may be in part due to the thriving and widespread Chiltepin Chiles, a source of favorite food.
The Chiltepin is the official State Native Pepper of Texas. Chiltepin Chiles are a small berry-shaped chile pepper and grow naturally in the Texas wild. And what about'em, well, the Northern Mockingbird loves them! They gobble them up. If you have a Chiltepin plant somewhere in your yard, a mockingbird is sure to find it.
If just happen to hear a beautiful series of chromatic bird sounds from somewhere in your yard, you might be in the delightful presence of a northern Mockingbird. Their appearance is also an obvious sign, so if you happen to see one, make sure to enjoy the sight of it's unique features such as it's grey body and distinct feather patterns. Depending of what part of the country you live in, those patterns may change and sometimes get a little colorful depending on the species.
Mockingbirds are always a pleasure to have around, not just for their sounds but for their behaviors. They like to run, dart, hop and perform flying maneuvers that compare somewhat to a purple martin. The stripped patterns on their wings seem to come alive when they flap their wings, making them very noticeable during flight.
Northern Mockingbirds are territorial, and they sometimes perform daring arial displays in their attempt to harass birds that invade their airspace, flying high and low around them, even dive bombing toward them. Even hawks are no exception. They're just as brave on the ground too, racing toward them in a full gallop, and flapping their wings all at the same time.
Mocking birds are very unique as sometimes they refuse to sleep, and instead decide to stay up at night singing to human insomniacs.
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