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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Our State bird often pretends to be something else.

Northern Mockingbird
A few species of birds are the only living creatures, other than humans, that can imitate sounds that they weren’t born to produce. This ability to learn and imitate strange sounds is called verbal mimicry, and the few species of birds that can do it are called mimics. The most common mimic in north Texas is our State bird…the Mockingbird. I've heard stories of Mockingbirds mimicking a squeaky screen door, a ringing cell phone and computer dings.

To prevent overcrowding, use feeders that minimize contact between birds and provide additional places to feed.  That could mean having several feeders, planting large clusters of native plants, or both. The most important task, however,  is to keep the feeding sites clean.

 OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at in Denton.

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