Skip to content

To Not-Quite-Kill a Mockingbird

06/16/2009

UPDATE 5/1/2012: I’ve received many comments on this blog-posting, some lauding me as a hero, others vilifying me for tormenting these poor, fragile birds. I sincerely wish everyone luck in ridding their nights (and days) of this scourge. Cheers. -Todd

It’s been over a month of sleeplessness for me and my wife (and I have to assume my neighbors). But no one has had the guts to deal with the problem.

The ‘problem’ is a foe so diabolical, he’s driven many to near-insanity. Like thousands of other Brooklynites this summer, my arch-enemy for the last month has been a 3-ounce lightweight that packs a big, audible punch: the northern mockingbird [Fig. 1]. But tonight I say “enough”; I will no longer let this bastard control my life. Tonight is the night I bring the beatdown.

this little bastard really sings all night

Fig. 1: this little guy sings all night

Here’s some audio I captured (with commentary) so you can get a taste of this special li’l fella’s song–often said to resemble a car alarm in its incessant and varied song.

He goes off like clockwork every night at 11:40pm. His warm-up consists of a ‘blaaat’ sound similar to a flatulating Model T, then he adds a little musical flourish to the end. But that’s just the teaser to let you know he’s out there, ready to party. The northern mockingbird doesn’t make a peep again until 12:45am then sings all through the night until–wait for it–5am. You’re thinking, “bullsh*t.” Bulltrue. Just one look at those beady little eyes in the pic above and you know who rules the roost. Hint: he does.

So I asked for some help from my old pal The Internet. Search “Kill and Mockingbird” and obviously the results revolve around the book and author Harper Lee. Beyond that, there’s really only one page with remotely relevant information, but the guy’s such a bird-loving pacifist, you get no useful tips on how to get rid of it.

“Without a doubt, losing sleep because a Mockingbird is singing at night is no fun. The answer to this problem is to change our own behavior and not the birds…a step you can take is to move your sleeping quarters to another room in your house.

Remember, he is trying to attract a mate, his song is a courting song. If we stop to consider… we may remember what kind of nuisance we once were, when we went a-courting”

I’m sorry, but when you use the phrase “went a-courtin,” I’ve lost all respect for you. But that’s the least of my issues with this person’s post. The solution is that I can “move my sleeping quarters”? Oh right, I have so many choices when it comes to bedrooms in our one-bedroom apartment. The internet let me down, it was time to earn a new merit badge all on my own: Mockingbird Hunter.

Preparations for Battle

So how to rid the communal backyard of our mutual foe while everyone else pretended to sleep? BB Gun? After much thought, it’d be a random shot without the assistance of night vision or infrared goggles. Besides, when I knock out a couple of windows and permanently blind a child, a bird is the least of my problems. Flamethrower? No longer available at my local hardware store. Jumping into the tree in a flailing rage? There’s more of a chance of impaling myself on a branch than achieving my goal. What’s the humane yet most-likely-to-succeed approach? It was so obvious: a concentrated blast of water. Time to suit up:

HOSE provided by Landlord who was also losing sleep for over a month [√]

WATER [√]

ANGER [√]

Then it was time to wait. And that wouldn’t take long if I knew my adversary.

The Night of Reckoning

Just like clockwork at 11:40pm, the villain cleared his throat. My wife said, “Here he goes again.” I replied in a flinty tone, “No, he’s teasing us.” An hour later at 12:45, right on his regular schedule, he began his first ‘set.’ I got up, slipped on my sandals, and headed out to the roof.

I triangulated the bird’s position with my finely-tuned senses and pointed the nozzle as close to the sweet-spot as I could figure. Moments after the first burst of water sprung forth from the mighty howitzer, I saw a shadow on the neighboring building wall–a tiny form, small as a bumblebee–rise up and fly off. I couldn’t believe it: one blast of water did it after a month of tyranny? Was victory truly at hand? [see Fig. 2]

Figure 1

Fig. 2 victorious (and disturbing?)

As I returned to bed from battle, my wife lay silent next to me, unstirred. No ticker tape parade for this hero. No medals or keys to the city (much less neighborhood). But in my elation, I couldn’t let the moment pass, so I nudged her and asked, “Do you hear that?”

She replied, “Hear what?”

I said satisfied: “Exactly.”

keywords: How to actually kill a mockingbird. kill a mockingbird, maim a mockingbird

79 Comments leave one →
  1. joe marino permalink
    06/16/2009 10:08 pm

    That’s awesome. I would have loved to have been there with you to see that little bird fly. F’ing Mockingbird! I’d probably have pants on though and a good reason to be in NY.

  2. Lauren Gatti permalink
    06/17/2009 1:32 am

    What a victory. My dad used to take the bb gun out in the yard to shoot crows. . . ah, the memories. NB: he wore pants.

  3. firsty permalink
    06/22/2009 11:06 pm

    Mockingbird’s songs are the most beautiful sounds in New York. I have a few in my backyard, and I always wish that they would always stay close to us. Have you ever considered that some of your neighbors liked to hear them? (Your little posting was quite funny, though.) If you are lucky enough to get them back, try white noise in your bedroom. BTW, good luck with your job search.

    • La Shawn permalink
      03/25/2010 6:37 am

      There is nothing great about the mockingbird’s annoyance! I only wish that the hose worked… ours keeps coming back. I’m ready to go insane.

      • toddbeeby permalink*
        03/25/2010 2:00 pm

        But the hose DID work. The bird did not return. And if it comes back this summer, it will be doused again!

  4. Larry permalink
    06/23/2009 2:19 pm

    I wish I could do the same to you, but with a firehose.

  5. 06/23/2009 8:24 pm

    nice blog!

  6. sotired permalink
    06/24/2009 6:40 am

    These people don’t know how badly we suffer. It’s not so much we hate mockingbirds, it’s that we really like sleep… Thanks for the water hose idea.

  7. 06/24/2009 2:57 pm

    I would use the hose – but the height that these noisy flyers sit at is beyond the reach of my nozzle spray – any other thoughts – Maybe one of those water cannon toys – AHA! That’s what I’ll do, I always wanted one anyway – even though I’m 61 years old – That might reach the target feathered nuisance. Anyone else who has tried that approach. Last querie does it really make them give up their territory?

    • toddbeeby permalink*
      06/24/2009 3:25 pm

      I sprayed our ‘feathered nuisance” last week, and he hasn’t returned (we’ve been sleeping so much better). Try the water cannon–good excuse to buy one. Some people think it was inhumane to do this to the bird, but I thought it was the most considerate approach available…good luck and good sleeping!

  8. Michael permalink
    06/30/2009 9:15 am

    I read the blog in the middle of the night a I was LMFAO and woke up everyone that went to sleep from the tiredness of hearing that f-bird.***PRICELESS***

  9. justme permalink
    07/10/2009 1:55 am

    Thanks for the tip. My L.A. mockingbird starts singing at midnight (no pre-show) and goes strong ’til dawn. Every now and then a bird will answer from far away. Hopefully, they’ll hook up.

  10. katie permalink
    07/20/2009 7:45 pm

    This is an awesome idea! and it is not that I dont like the birds but I just want to get some sleep! Unfortunately for me, my mockingbird is across the street in a baby tree and I dont have access to a hose – I live in a building. But I know that the people living in the houses along the tree are restless. I am going to shoot this idea to them. Thanks! And I wish everyone a good nite!

  11. ken permalink
    04/19/2010 6:48 am

    how lucky for you. I’ve been plagued by mockingbirds since 2007. Every summer, 90+ days not a night with over 2 hours of sleep. I just don’t see how anyone can defend these birds for their actions. lost jobs, lost income, failed semesters of college! irreversible, massive financial and personal life impact. there’s not a point in my house I can sleep without hearing the birds thru closed doors, windows and 32 db rated earplugs. worse, they sing and live off my property. and on top of that, over 55 attempts on 7 birds with a variety (at first non-lethal BB guns) to very much lethal .22′s. Not one has died, not one has left. What used to be 2 birds are now 18.
    I’ll probably be the first driven to insanity and then suicide by these birds, oh how I wish their entire species can be wiped clean and forever from this earth.

  12. Pip permalink
    05/03/2010 3:30 am

    I wish I could just blast the little bastard with a spray of water. But I live in a sea of fenced off backyards in LA and am not sure how my neighbors would take to me on the roof of my guest house with a high powered hose firing into their yards.
    I read somewhere else about playing the sounds of Blue Jays or birds of prey loudly. So, when he wakes me around 6am, I’ve been putting in earplugs and blasting those horrible sounds. Turn the volume off, and I realize he hasn’t skipped a beat in his “song.” And I think my neighbors are becoming concerned for my sanity. As am I.
    And please don’t tell me to sleep with earplugs in–that’s equally uncomfortable. Any suggestions? I want a rooftop in my underwear victory picture of my own.

  13. josh permalink
    04/21/2011 6:09 am

    Hahaha. The flailing rage bit was hilarious. I pictured myself leaping from my roof into my tree arms and legs flying amuck. Hahaha

  14. 05/06/2011 6:36 am

    Reading this at 11:37pm in SoCal… while mockingbird keeps me up. Mine is driving me insane from a neighbor’s yard. Already tried to throw rocks at it (sorry bird lovers, mama needs some Zs) but the hose idea is genius. I’ve got sick kids in the house, so can’t really sleep with earplugs/headphones/Qtips shoved into my brain, lest I sleep through crying baby. Next up for tonight: white noise courtesy of big ol’ fan. For tomorrow: talk to neighbor about strength and length of her hose. Wishing whoever else is reading this good night and good luck!

  15. Steve permalink
    05/10/2011 1:18 am

    Love the blog…especially the poll, I chose shotgun, hilarious! My wife and I sat and read everyone’s comments and we laughed our heads off because we can relate to them, so now I don’t feel so bad. Sounds like these birds from hell are all over from what I gather, I’m in SW Florida. The bird stops singing when get up in the morning, how convenient, it’s time to figure out how to torment these little peckers in the day time…my neighbor works at a stray animal shelter so maybe I’ll just pick up a dozen cats to hang around the yard.

  16. Lori Gallagher permalink
    05/17/2011 11:27 pm

    Every year I have a bird problem. For the past three it has been a Blue Heron trying to eat my Koi.

    Last year it was a woodpecker, which I tried to kill with a BB gun, but it kept ducking out of the way. No, I am not a bad shot, and I am not kidding that this bird ducked and moved every time I shot at it. It was really smart. It finally left when I surrendered and tried to feed it so it would leave my tree alone. Go figure?

    Now this year I get a Northern Mockingbird that builds a nest and has two hatchlings right outside my garage and decides the whole property is hers. My cats get
    dive-bombed every time they go out. I’ve even had to go and rescue them.

    I just found out these birds stay to the end of summer and it’s against the law to get rid of them; you can’t move their nest, you can’t kill them, you can’t do anything. Huh? Last time I checked, this was my house. Change my habits to accommodate a bird? I don’t think so.

    My 14 year-old suggested a gun, LOL, which I explained not only did I really not want to kill it, well, maybe, but it was against the law; I also did not want to kill any of our neighbors, well, maybe, but it was against the law too. Just kidding.

    Wish me luck. Happy bird hunting and a pleasant goodnight to all.

    • Alyssa R permalink
      06/02/2013 8:54 pm

      Seriously, I hear ya. Changing our habits and life around for a flipping bird? Are you freakin kidding me? This dang thing kept us up til 3:30 last night until my husband shot some bb’s in the air to try and get it to shut up. What in the hell are we gonna do about our mocking bird? ughhhh!

  17. Lee permalink
    05/24/2011 2:13 pm

    A friend sent me this after I suggested using night vision goggles and my air rifle. I got a good laugh out of it since Mockingbirds have been keeping me up at night as well. I had one last year and did not do anything about her. This year, I have three. I will take your ideas into consideration, though. Or, I hunt…

  18. 06/20/2011 6:18 am

    I, too, have Mockingbird plague! My father-in-law told me that if I put a rubber snake in the tree, the bird would leave and not return. So bravely, I (5’2″ and 95 lbs) climbed to my roof with rubber snake in tow. Once at the top, I slung the snake to the top of the giant 40 foot tree outside my window. And for that night, silence! I was elated! Alas, he has returned, unfazed by the rubber snake. I will next try the water hose. Actually have a 100 foot hose, A little more tricky dragging that up a 20′ ladder…. wish me luck.
    BTW, ear plugs don’t work.
    Pillows stuffed over my head.

  19. 06/20/2011 6:21 am

    Or maybe a slingshot and frozen peas…..
    I have had more lethal ideas, and luckily have better judgement and the ability to delay gratification.

  20. L.M. permalink
    06/24/2011 2:44 pm

    Oh how I wish I could frighten our tormentor off that easily! I envy your success. Alas, our enemy perches itself on top of an electricity pole close to our home in an urban area. Therefore any attempt to get rid of it would probably cause more harm than good to the neighborhood. From there he boasts his musical talent from around midnight until 6:00 a.m. every single day. Then, after a short intermezzo (for breakfast perhaps), he retakes his spot for another concert. Imagine our frustration… there he sits…night after night in plain sight torturing a whole helpless neighborhood and it happens every spring! This place must be a favorite spot for these birds!!! It’s too bad they don’t sell female mockingbirds at the pet shop. I’d be willing to shell out my hard-earned money to provide a companion for this creature so he would finally shut up!

  21. Ray permalink
    07/01/2011 4:50 pm

    I realize that a lot of people defend the birds but the other day while driving I almost fell asleep — from lack of sleep, I could have killed someone. I bought an automatic “air-soft” gun at Sports Authority- and it broke in about an hour. To get some sleep I bought a box fan and turn it on about half way..which works ok..I can hear the bird while trying to fall asleep but once asleep it seems to work ok. Better than nothing. Ear plugs bother me — I believe that killing this bird may be my only choice, or I may just fall asleep behind the wheel—it has me very concerned. He’s off my property and the hose isn’t an option.

  22. 07/01/2011 11:44 pm

    I have the same problem with a mockingbird. I can not sleep, I work in a home office and I can not work their too. I wear ear plugs all day and night. For the people who love the sound of a mockingbird then they must love the sound of car alarms and squealing car breaks all night long. I did try to spray a large stream of water in his direction but he just moved over to the next house. Mockingbirds can be heard from blocks far away so that did not help. I like birds but not the mockingbird.

    • Losing it in California permalink
      07/23/2011 10:41 pm

      I am currently going on 6 months of hell! I am so glad to hear other people that understand. My little piece of the Devil does his car alarm imitation all day and all night. I swear there must be a “Mocking Bird Workforce” to ensure 24hr coverage because mine never stops. Even as I type the little Devil its out there yelling at me, had me in tears yesterday. I am sorry to say I, with great guilt, finally purchased a low powered BB gun yesterday. When I finally got up enough nerve and anger I shot at the little rascal but before I could die of remorse for hurting a little bird the bastard laughed at me and I swear is louder than ever. Alas, I fear I shall never have peace again…

  23. 07/18/2011 4:48 pm

    Water Hoses and Toy Guns have no range at all.

    I use an Outdoor Lawn Sprayer – used for Fertilizer and Insecticide (available at Home Depot, etc) – much better.

    I may even add some Tabasco Sauce to the water to further terrorize the litle creep.

  24. Jazz permalink
    07/26/2011 6:17 pm

    Okay, mine are not at night…yet…but several, all day, everyday, and they are mimicing something pretty awful sounding. They have started attacking my cat…who I am praying will start to attack back. AND I had so many other beautiful looking and sounding birds in my yard that have now been chased off…so, I applaud your hose solution, I will be trying it as soon as I post this reply.
    And as a sidenote, pants can be really over-rated.

  25. 02/25/2012 8:11 pm

    they sing to defend territory during nesting. they already have mates. they are called mocking birds because they imitate the calls of other birds to keep them away. the sound of a mocking bird at 2am is quintessentially californian. millions of wine soaked hedonists have woken wide eyed and dry to listen to the birds laugh at their insomnia. it’s why bb guns were invented. a simple bird to knock down by daylight. is there something wrong with that? at least you won’t look like a billboard for impotence out at night in your small clothes waving a hose(?)

  26. wide awake in gulf shores permalink
    03/26/2012 6:15 am

    Thank you so much! Its 1:11 am and he’s so loud that my ears are ringing and I have a migraine the size of charlie sheen’s winning streak. The persistent little bastard has been singing every night from 11 pm till 9 am, every freaking day for the past 3 months. I tried everything from scaring it with a taser, to running at the tree screaming like braveheart. I’m going to go try this out right now, thank you so much from wide awake in gulf shores.

  27. 03/27/2012 2:58 am

    We have a mockingbird keeping us up at night. Your post CRACKED us up! Now… off to find the hose.

  28. Lauren U. permalink
    04/02/2012 5:48 pm

    Obviously Louisiana mockingbirds are more tenacious than Brooklyn birds, because when my husband goes to the lawn in his boxer shorts at 2:00 a.m. to blast him with water (if only I had gotten my camera!) he simply flitters off for a moment, then comes back screaming more loudly than before. We thought we were the only ones wandering around glassy-eyed from sleep deprivation! While we didn’t do the rubber snake thing, we did get a large fake owl. The mockingbird and the owl are now BFFs. We are lucky enough to have another room at the opposite end of the house, where we have been exiled till this little sucker finds a mate.

  29. Kristi permalink
    04/09/2012 4:08 pm

    I don’t know if you’re still blogging, or checking this blog, but you are my HERO and my savior! I have been trying to get rid of a mockingbird from my front yard for 4 years! At this poingt, I could actually publish my own aviary study with all the mockingbird calls. Note: Ours likes to repeat the same call 4-times in a row. I know, because I’m awake all night listening and counting the calls. Are they all that OCD?

    Every blessed summer, this winged menace haunts my front yard and starts his rampage at 10 pm. Last night was a particularly long night for both of us – the squawks lasted until 5:30 AM!

    I can’t take another sleepless summer, or another chirped-up night. Screw all those idiots that go on and on about “Oh, it’s such a beautiful sound, it’s a state bird, Mother Nature’s gift, it’s a protected species…” I bet I KNOW why it’s a protected species, because everyone who has been plagued by them try to “off” them. I bet these bleeding hearts wouldn’t be so freaking noble if they were sleep deprived.

    I’ve tried yelling at this feathered fiend, my neighbor caught me wildly throwing rocks at midnight into my tree, I’ve even tried to shake the tree – palm trees are not easy to shake. After reading your blog, I’m getting a Super Soaker tonight, or maybe two, and my fiancé and I are declaring war on this winged devil.

    “Drink up, Mr. Mockingbird! You’ve chirped your last dating call from my yard!”

  30. Leiberry permalink
    04/19/2012 4:43 pm

    My husband and I just read your post! We couldn’t stop laughing! It is so comforting to know that we are not alone. We live on the west coast and have the same problem. The bird is in our nieghbors yard and we are not sure how they will feel about us “taking care of him.” Thanks fo your insight and the confindence boost we needed to put a plan in action!

  31. Cookie permalink
    04/20/2012 4:11 pm

    I have at least one mockingbird every year. My husband is deaf in one ear and he still heard the returning, uninvited guest, last night. We sleep in separate rooms due to husband snoring, “is there no mercy”, so his cure for the Mockingbird last night was to loudly bang on the bedroom window. “Brilliant!, I say” Now he has scared the sh… out of me at 2 am so, wide awake, I can truly hear every trill.. I counted, this bird has 26 different sounds, including car alarm, cat meowing, dog bark, alarm clock and my personal favorite….wait for it ….. okay, I will call it.. “human mating sounds” I am buying a new hose that has a nozzle with pinpoint accuracy. Again, I wish not to harm only to relocate…and sleep.. Did I mention, husband is retired and can now sleep all day. Me at 5 am when the Mockster stops my real alarm clock goes off. Hmm. or was that the bird.

  32. Darlene permalink
    04/26/2012 12:31 pm

    I found this blog while looking for ideas on how to get rid of the mockingbird that lives in our neighbors tree. Since there are many trees I’m not sure which tree that most annoying pest lives in. I will soon buy a supersoakerand go for it!

    • Olivia permalink
      06/27/2012 12:32 am

      They not only keep us awake- they eat our home grown tomatoes!!!!!!

  33. Ann permalink
    05/03/2012 3:29 pm

    Good God….this bird is driving me out of my mind!!! All night long!!! Standing in the middle of the road and screaming! So I got up to go downstairs to warm up some milk to put myself to sleep and he must have seen the light go on, so he came to the tree outside the kitchen and screamed. When I went back to bed, he went back to his post on the street!

  34. 05/04/2012 5:23 pm

    Okay, I thought I was insane. But, my problem isn’t that the mockingbirds are keeping us up at night; we have several mockingbirds right outside of our front door and they are terrorizing me, my sister, and our 85 lb. boxer. It’s very Hitchcock over here and I’ve been trying to figure out how the heck to get rid of them. I can’t even take the dog out to pee without being dive-bombed. Pretty terrifying stuff. I’m hitting up Target and getting an ultimate Super Soaker this weekend.

  35. Chris P Bacon permalink
    05/08/2012 1:47 am

    I am currently experiencing this exact scenario in South Florida. This is the funniest thing I have read in a long time. I truly love and respect wildlife. However being a middle school teacher, I NEED a decent night sleep, or the children (and anyone else in my way) will suffer my wrath the next day. These little birds have also incited arguments between my wife and I because I wanted to buy some gigantic sonar blasting devise and she did not want to spend the $150-200 on it (how much is a full night sleep worth to you?). I did anchor a stupid looking plastic owl (called him Owl Bundy) to the corner of my roof. It worked for a few days but the mockingbird was probably using it as a urinal shortly after. I am inspired by your success so tonight I will lay on the roof in the dark like a navy seal sniper and blast Osama Bird Laden away with my spray nozzle hose. Godspeed Mockingbird sufferers.

  36. sandra permalink
    05/09/2012 2:31 am

    I live in Toronto, Ontario Canada with my wonderfully sweet, good natured and now tortured black lab. Every time we walk down the street these little shit heads swoop him like crazy. They have even hit him on the butt a couple times and they are making him a nervous wreck in the spring and summer. I am honestly at my wits end.

    I am looking into buying a bb gun but am weary of the effectiveness of that approach (although I am a great shot). I think I have narrowed down the nest location and have no problem destroying it accept I live in a stacked townhouse condo development with no hose, no ladder and lots of nosey neighbours. So as such I am thinking maybe a super soaker, net and the cover of night? lol

    I dont know what to do anymore, poor Roscoe (my pooch) is a nervous wreck going down the street and they are getting more and more aggressive! Now they come to the tree outside my front window and swoop the dog when he sits there looking out! Seriously!

    Anyways it is a comfort to have read that others suffer at the hands of these little jerks! I thought I was going nuts or something as everyone I have mentioned this to here just looks at me funny.

  37. Gina permalink
    05/09/2012 6:29 pm

    I just found this. I might have to try this. My fine feathered foe however waits until 3, yes THREE, AM to start his annoying and nerveracking song. I have had to resort to earplugs because 1. I can’t move my sleeping quarters and 2. I have to get up early in the morning and don’t have the time or strength at 3am to try and hunt down this nuisance. I found your blog my googling “How to get rid of a mockingbird”. Thank you for posting your experience so I don’t have to read that annoying persons post that you quoted above!

  38. Erin permalink
    05/12/2012 2:29 pm

    These things are vile creatures. There is some great writing about them from the early 19th century, very funny I highly recommend googling. Here’s my issue, my mockingbird’s perch is atop a power pole. Hose + Power pole? Not a good idea. Little jerk knocked a finches nest off a nearby beam on my house. Tore it up, threw it down as the poor little guys watched in horror. So if anyone has a non-water based solution for getting ride of this jerk, I’m all ears. Please note, nearby houses as well so most projectiles are out.

  39. Erin permalink
    05/12/2012 3:48 pm

    Okay, just tried a hose. Figured it rains on power lines, what’s my hose going to do? Opened up the tap all the way and waited. Jerk comes back and I open up on him! Only the stream from my hose is coming up about 10 feet short and he’s just sitting there, looking at me, mocking me. Is there any more aptly named beast?! I need a better nozzle.

  40. Kate permalink
    05/16/2012 1:38 am

    I am a tree-hugging dirt-worshiping nature-loving hippie. When our mockingbird first came to town, I was enchanted by his sweet (daytime song). Little did I know what lie in store……the first night we were serenaded by him, I regretfully got up to close the windows and found I could still hear him! By morning, there was one thought in my head – “I am going to find that sweet little birdie and bash his head in with a friggin’ rock!”. I got earplugs – I can still hear him, even with 30db earplugs and closed windows. Trust me, I more than understand the argument for letting him sing and leaving him alone, but we get up at 5 AM. My husband is a truck driver – he can’t do his job fatigued, he could kill someone. I work in a warehouse – not so dangerous, but I can tell you after a week of sleep deprivation, I WANT to kill someone. We may try the hose thing, but I don’t hold out a lot of hope for it. There are so many in the neighborhood I think we’re doomed……..

  41. Amanda permalink
    05/29/2012 3:47 pm

    I so needed to read this! Especially your recording/commentary! hilarious. Although I’m from Louisiana where we do have mockingbirds, we keep trees far from our house after having one fall on our previous residence. I’ve heard them but never close by. I’m staying with my fiance while he interns in Alabama. He told me about this bird that sounds like a car alarm, and I said “Oh it’s just a mockingbird, I’m sure we can drown it out with my sound machine.” No! After being set on RAINSTORM at full volume, we can still hear the little monster. Make that monsters. Can’t wait to try and soak him into submission. It’s called survival of the fittest for a reason. I don’t plan on bowing down to a songbird either. =D

  42. steve la porta permalink
    05/31/2012 11:03 am

    Hilarious. Your birds only sing between midnight and 6 a.m.? Then, you are lucky. My little neighbor sometimes goes on for 24 hours, singing during the daytime as well as through the night. He has been seeking a mate for more than 3 months now. I can’t imagine a spray of water chasing him away. One of his perches is so high up that not even a fire departments water hose could reach him. Periodically, I will bring out my Brazilian bird calls and riff back and forth with him or just use improvised sounds of my own voice to interact with him. Interestingly, that drives him away for a few moments. He gets annoyed with me, raises his voice and intensity, gets on top of a telephone pole, hops up and down a couple times, flashes the white of his wings in a mock form of intimidation, then, flys away in a huff — only to return a few moments later. I understand your frustration. Fortunately, I’m a heavy sleeper. That said, these little guys are not only incredibly persistent, but, they are brilliant and talented. I call my neighbor Coltrane, because he seems to improvise without limitation. Good night all…

  43. 05/31/2012 1:41 pm

    Our mockingbird starts singing in the tree right outside of our bedroom window every night about 11:30 PM and he does not stop, he does not even take a breath, until 5 AM!!!! We are so sleep deprived that it’s hard to even get up for work in the morning!!! We bought the large owl at Home Depot… no luck. We have sprayed the tree, we have 4 bright yellow smiley face balloons tied up in the tree, colorful dish cloths hanging on the branches, a colorful wind sock blowing in the breeze and 2 sets of wind chimes hanging in the tree. Now we think maybe “our little guy” likes all this stuff in his tree because he just keeps right on singing his 100 different songs all night long!!! Our neighbors must think we are nuts when they walk by the house!!! But we will try anything for just a few hours of silence!!! Please keep posting any new ideas!!!! It helps to know that we are not alone…

  44. Sue and Ron permalink
    06/01/2012 4:57 pm

    Last night we came up with another idea of how we could maybe get rid of our mockingbird. About midnight we went outside and we hung our shower radio high up in the tree. We tuned the radio to “Coast to Coast AM Radio with George Noory” thinking this would drive him away. Oh my, our bird loved the show! Now he is an expert on ‘Space Aliens’, ‘Remote Viewing’, ‘Shadow People’, ‘Planet X’, ‘Atlantis’ and ‘Bigfoot’!! Our birdie especially enjoyed the shows bumper music as he sang even louder than ever to “Eight Miles High” by The Byrds, “Break On Through To The Other Side” by the Doors, ‘Midnight Confession” by Grassroots and “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” by Neil Sedaka!! We were still awake all night and ‘our little guy” has now added these new songs to his repertoire!!! HELP…

  45. Brenda permalink
    06/02/2012 2:50 pm

    I woke up this morning determined to find a way to rid our yard of not one, but several of these unintentional pests. They basically live right outside our bedroom window and usually start at about 3:30 or 4AM. I found your blog and found 2 of probably 3 or 4 nests in the Camellia trees. We will be ridding the trees of the nests and hope we don’t have to resort to a water barrage in the middle of the night. Loved your piece.

  46. 06/03/2012 4:52 pm

    I could have written this post. It’s true but I wish it weren’t. Oh the tyranny! I’m living this nightmare currently and though I don’t believe in guns, I’ve been thinking of getting one. I’m fah-rEAking out here! Haven’t slept in weeks. And our little friends (yes, we have more than one) continue on a lesser level, throughout the day. Tell me: Did the supersoaker approach have a lasting effect? Because my next approach is flame thrower.

  47. Sue and Ron permalink
    06/05/2012 8:12 pm

    Now we bought a flip-flop sprinkler at Home Depot. We got out our ladder and put the sprinkler high up in the tree and zip tied the sprinkler to a branch. We turned the sprinkler on BLAST from midnight until 6AM! Our mockingbird came and he sang for only about 5 minutes and then he left!! We took out the ear plugs and voila, we fell asleep as he did not come back all night!! Todd is right, the best remedy for getting rid of a mockingbird seems to be water!!!
    Once “our little guy” finds his mate, we really don’t want them to build their nest in the tree right next to our bedroom window. So we plan to turn the sprinkler on for the next few nights to make sure he gets the message! We hope he will choose the beautiful magnolia tree on the other side of our house as he loves singing in that tree during the day. We pray that our mockingbird will claim the magnolia tree as his new territory where he can live happily ever after, singing his little heart out, ALL…NIGHT…LONG!!!

  48. JimmyJ permalink
    06/05/2012 9:29 pm

    I live in So-Cal and after a full 2 weeks of NO sleep I’m forgetting things at work, I’m fighting to stay awake, my eyes look dark & horrible and man have i been in a shitty mood lately. WHY?? This f-ing bird sits in my Magnolia tree and chirps constantly as if it’s being attacked from 11:30pm – 4:30am EVERY night. I’ve chucked pennies, oranges, kiwi fruit, used my hose, bought a fake OWL, white noise machine, ear plugs, an ambien prescription…..none of this drowns out this menace!! Gonna try a super soaker filled with cheap tequila, I hear birds hate alcohol. Wish me luck, at this rate I’m either going to lose my job or crash my car driving half awake to work unless I get rid of this little shit.

  49. 06/11/2012 7:15 am

    1974, rural Mo, shotgun at about 1 AM – out the second floor window of our farm house – we weren’t aiming to kill – heck we couldn’t see the bugger anyway – just wanted to scare him off – success

  50. 06/12/2012 10:52 pm

    I keep a soccer ball near the door and over the course of time have walked outside, bounced the ball loudly then threw it into the tree near the offender. Now, all I have to do is bounce the ball loudly just outside the door and he flies away to another tree. Unfortunately, he comes back most of the time. I think the only real solution is death by firing squad. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD!

  51. Rocky permalink
    06/17/2012 12:12 pm

    I’ve never understood the sympathy some people give these demons. If it were a neighbor, you’d call the cops. But because it’s a bird, we’re all supposed to let him destroy our lives? I finally bought an air pellet gun, figured out where he hung out during the day, and the ensuing silence in the aftermath was, I must confess, wonderful. Just be careful where the missed shots will land. You could break a window, or put an eye out, so make sure the path is clear. Good luck.

  52. Torella permalink
    06/26/2012 5:30 pm

    I did the same thing only not from my roof. The bird stopped for about 5 minutes then started again. I did this twice and permanent fix.

  53. Stacie permalink
    07/04/2012 12:42 am

    I absolutely love birds and wildlife in my yard. And I’ve always had animals that occasionally get dive-bombed by mocking birds protecting themselves and family. I found this article because for the last couple of months I have watched my cat get pounded by mocking birds and in turn she has brought me 4 in the last month. After carefully watching, I have found that every time she goes outside 4 to 5 mocking birds from around the neighborhood show up and begin to attack her (she’s already killed 4 – they are obviously not just from my small yard!) It has come to the point that they see my cat in the window inside and attack from outside! I don’t know who started the war and I did not realize either of these creatures may be so smart as to remember their foes for this long but I love my cat and love birds so I have to find a way to protect them both. I hope this is a good tip, but if not it was well written and gave me a chuckle in my search for harmony between my domesticated and wildlife animals!

  54. Rob B. permalink
    07/10/2012 8:14 am

    The drama continues… 3 weeks now, July 2012. I have hose ready, now comes the confidence part to put the plan in action.

  55. Erica permalink
    07/17/2012 5:05 pm

    I live in Texas and I know this is my state bird I am trying to get rid of but, I have to admit that we have fired a roman candle left over from the 4 th of July into my oak tree. It worked for one night but was back with a vengence the next night. We tried the water hose last night and it is still hanging around. We are goning to keep hunting it with the water hose and water guns…Our mission is to annoy this bird as much as it has annoyed us this summer.

  56. Sonya permalink
    07/17/2012 7:46 pm

    Hah! Love this blog. Have been attacked and tormented ALL SUMMER! I thought once the little darlings have grown up and flown away, that would be the end of the attacks and I could go on with my life. WRONG! They’ve constructed ANOTHER nest. To those who want to protect the little angels at all costs, just wait until they attack your little darling when he crawls too close to their nest. I’ll bet your tune will change then. Can’t wait to get that super soaker!

  57. Donna permalink
    08/06/2012 9:54 pm

    I used water also, but the damn mocking bird came back after a month. I live on Long Island in Nassau County.

  58. Craig permalink
    03/18/2013 6:40 am

    He’s out there somewhere… It’s hard to tell with all the foliage. The answer? …Napalm. This is why I chose flamethrower in your survey.

    Here birdy birdy birdy…

  59. Kristen permalink
    03/18/2013 8:23 am

    I am reading this as I lay awake, at 3am, listening to this stupid bird sing, for the past hour. I too read the article that suggested moving sleeping quarters- no help at all with a tiny apartment whose windows all face he same blasted tree. I hate this bird. Tomorrow is my first day at a new job and instead of a good nights rest, I’m up listening to this horrid bird. I may have to try your solution…thanks for your story and not telling us to simply enjoy the song like so many other bird-loving sites.

  60. 03/22/2013 8:15 am

    Hilarious and Good Show! Beady little eyes, indeed. Mockers are so annoying! Love the victorious hose shot!

  61. makeitstop permalink
    04/16/2013 2:19 pm

    Those creatures from hell are the reason im a hair away from going postal. It started a few years ago, i paid it no mind at first, as most people i am sure. They kept moving closer and closer to the house. I tried the ear plugs one year but that is gap stop measure if you are in a hotel. Good earplugs are $$ and only allows these satanists to multiply in peace so you are only increasing your problems down the road. I took out 2 nests, found 2 unsuccessful ones but made the mistake of allowing one nest to hatch due to not watching it close enough. We are paying for it now.

    So i took the only logical step left after being infested in 2013. Bb guns. I just shoot at the fuckers. A volley of bbs in their direction chases them away. So we now play a game… they sing, i shoot. Repeat. Every day. Every hour. Of course they return but right now i have made pretty great progress. They stay further away from the house AND stop yapping sooner in the morning. I have decided to make their life equal hell and force them to give up.

    I cannot water hose them or flametrower them since they are usually at least 100ft away or move to there at the first sight of us or a window opening.

    Those owls do nothing. We actually have real ones too.. but i know the plastic ones dont work. I foolishly spent money on that as well.

    So to all with this issue, the only real solution is physical. They are pests and act as such. If you can water them, do it, if you can hit them with something, do it, if you can napalm them even better. Nothing else will work. Only direct CONSISTENT threat will make them give up on an area. Else they will stay and bring more and mate and soon you will have more of them than ants.

    Good luck.

    And happy sleep

  62. tom permalink
    04/29/2013 6:12 am

    if it’s in a tree in your yard, and you’re desperate enough, cut the tree down.

  63. Mike permalink
    05/09/2013 12:56 am

    I wonder if hiding some advil PM in some bread will work. Maybe they will go to sleep and never wake up

  64. jerry permalink
    05/09/2013 1:44 am

    I had 3 mockingbirds (northern mockingbirds to be exact).. all day and all night.. blasting louder than an aerosmith concert…

    I found the nest (they next between 3 and 10 feet from the ground.. so nests are easy to find, usually in large bushes).. destroyed it (don’t let anyone ee ya do it, the birds and the nests are protected by federal law, espcailly if there are eggs in the nest)…
    Problem solved! the birds moved elsewhere, out of my range of hearing them!.. all but one of the birds..

    while destroying the nest, be prepaired for battle, the mockingbirds WILL ATTACK YOU!.. and not just one, any others nearby will join them… (you can look this up as well, they are known for doing this when someone or something gets too close to the nest)…
    while fending them off to destroy the nest, I literally punched one in the head, and the carcus is now fertilizer in the yard… the others stopped when a bluejay got curious to what I was doing and came to give backup (bluejays are a mortal enemy of mockingbirds).. the bluejay took out a couple of the mockingbirds as they were charging at me.. one died, dunno where the other went).. two of the original mockingbirds whos nests I got rid of just flew off never to be seen or heard from again.

    now it’s nice and quiet around here, and my little bluejay friend joins me for breakfast every day (he enjoys peanuts and dried fruit).

    yes, this is all a true story, and each bit can be searched on google (bluejays vs mockingbirds, friendly bluejays, etc..)

  65. 05/13/2013 5:17 pm

    After two-plus weeks of audio torture I decided to try to chase off the MB that has staked a claim to our backyard. We have a 40″ liquid amber in our backyard that forms the apex of three trees the Devil Bird uses as his territorial markers We live next to “open space” a naturally and protected hilly woods and grassland that hosts dozens of mainly benign wildlife species (except for the rodents, but that’s another story). My weapon of choice is the Bon Air Ultimate Water Blaster, a cunningly designed device that when attached to a simple garden hose, becomes a high-powered water canon. http://bon-aireindustries.com/products/detail.cfm?prodID=49

    While not proclaiming victory, I’ve managed to keep said bird away for minutes at a time.
    Sometimes all afternoon. It requires however, that I dash outside my home office, pick up the Ultimate Water Blaster, which I keep resting at a key firing point, and blast away. The bird has learned that when I come dashing out of my office, that’s his cue to fly off to one of the other two trees marking his realm. At least he’s farther away. I’ve learned that once the creature has staked out a territory there’s practically no (legal) force on earth that will alter that behavior. They’re called mockingbirds because it’s us feeble humans they’re mocking.

    Ata least with my Ultimate Water Blaster, I’m not going out without a fight!

  66. hillbilly permalink
    05/14/2013 8:22 am

    protected??? is this terrorism or a way for our government to keep us under seige?

  67. Beth permalink
    05/16/2013 7:34 pm

    I’m going in. Thank you!!! I can’t take the torture any longer. It’s been 3 years running now. Ugh.

  68. leslie brahm permalink
    05/21/2013 3:20 pm

    now i know why mine doesn’t show up when it is raining… i will be armed with hose tonight because my next choice is a gun… love nature… love animals but i love SLEEP more!!!

  69. Mick permalink
    05/24/2013 5:33 pm

    I live in central Florida and have been watching a mockingbird chase hawks and fighting with hawks on rooftops till the hawk flys away. They have also swooped at me when I get out of the car, and taunt my dog at the front window. This demon bird is NOT welcome, and I will find a way to get rid of it!!!!

  70. 05/27/2013 5:13 pm

    I HATE the neighborhood Mockingbird. I am so sleep deprived I want to kill it…not really but it needs to rehome itself. SHUT up birdie! At night and during the day too? Why? Go away! Water cannon here I come!

  71. Tracy permalink
    06/07/2013 8:30 pm

    I WISH that the singing was my problem with these stupid birds! I have about 10 of them hanging around, and I cannot even take my dog out, get the mail, or work in my yard without at least one of them constantly attacking me! This happens while several more sit on my roof and watch. Honestly, I get dive-bombed and actually hit – on the head, on the back… I’ve tried yelling and swinging, but to no avail. Even if I keep my eye on it, it still comes after me; it’s not afraid at all. There was a nest in the front yard, but the babies are all grown and gone from the nest, so that should not be the reason for the attacks. I can’t take it!!! I am definitely going to try the hose approach, but these things are so fearless and aggressive, I’m afraid it may be a futile attempt. I just may get an air gun or something. I don’t want to kill them, but I wouldn’t be sad if a cat got them!!!

  72. Kate permalink
    07/08/2013 5:33 pm

    Update on our mockingbird situation from last summer – we tried the hose, to no avail……I must confess, after a month of torture by the little beast, we left for vacation and told the neighbor kid “There’s $25 in it for you if that freakin’ bird’s gone when we get back”. My husband offered another $25 if he could show us the carcass as proof it was REALLY gone, but his mother drew the line at keeping it in her freezer. We came back to blissful silence and soothing sleep, and a year later, the problem still appears to be solved. Don’t ask, don’t tell…..

    • 07/08/2013 5:57 pm

      Post the neighbor kid’s contact info. He’s definitely a “gun for hire” who could turn this into a decent summer job!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: