Views: 302, Replies: 17 » Jump to the end
Name: Kelli
Canoga Park, CA, Sunset 19 (Zone 10a)
Where summer is winter
Region: California Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Kelli
Aug 21, 2016 3:46 PM CST
Any tips on discouraging mockingbirds, things that you know for sure work? Please help! The internet is full of unproven ideas. It is the baby mockingbirds that I have a problem with, but to not have the babies, you have to keep away the nesting adults. Every second of every daylight minute, the baby mockingbird gives off a very loud, shrill shriek. (Go to YouTube and search under baby mockingbird for a sample of this little bit of hell. Do not watch the video and be swayed by the cuteness. Just listen. Besides, the cuteness is gone by the time the birds are out of the nest. I can't see them in the nest. The cuteness is irrelevant. They are a little more shrill in real life than they come across in the videos. Imagine that every daylit second for five months.) This goes on for about three weeks per brood and there have been six broods so far this year. Yes, six! I've been listening to this shrieking, and sometimes it can be heard in the house, since mid March and it is now late August. The latest baby is out of the nest and is full grown, but fledged babies will shriek and continue to be fed for, I'm guessing, two weeks.

The shrieking is driving me crazy. Crazy as it may seem, it has impacted my quality of life. I can't even enjoy my own yard and I have to go out and water. So far, all I can do is listen to my iPod with noise-cancelling headphones. Projectiles of any kind are out of the question. The neighbors' houses are too close. No other house in the neighborhood has mockingbirds. We take walks five times a week since January and have never heard or seen one except in our yard or an adjacent yard. We go through what could be the territory of many mockingbirds. Their range is not very large, about one or two acres.
Take a walk with me at http://cubits.org/dayhikes/
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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Newyorkrita
Aug 21, 2016 3:57 PM CST
I don't know what one could do short of climbing the tree and simply tearing up the nest. Which I think is illegal on any of our native birds. But it's your yard so who's gonna know? I think eventually if you did that they would get discouraged and move on to live somewhere else.
Name: Kelli
Canoga Park, CA, Sunset 19 (Zone 10a)
Where summer is winter
Region: California Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Kelli
Aug 22, 2016 9:57 AM CST
We have torn down three nests this year. (As I understand it, it is legal to tear down an empty nest.) They just go and rebuild across the street, which is not far enough away from the shrieking. We can hear them in our backyard when they are across the street. We can hear them in the house when they are across the street. The only common thing in our neighborhood that is louder than a baby mockingbird is the trash truck and the leaf blower of the gardener of the house behind us. Frankly, I'd rather listen to the trash truck or the leaf blower. I would say that baby mockingbirds are as loud as kids at recess and much more shrill and monotonous.
Take a walk with me at http://cubits.org/dayhikes/
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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Newyorkrita
Aug 22, 2016 10:02 AM CST
I don't know what else could be done.
(Zone 6a)
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UrbanWild
Aug 22, 2016 5:25 PM CST
They nest regularly outside our window. We don't mind them though. Much better than any of the normal urban noises IMHO. I met someone once who only lasted 6 months on the farm he bought. He couldn't take all of the crickets as they kept him up at night. He's more comfortable with ambulances, garbage trucks banging dumpsters, etc. Sorry I don't have a solution for you either.
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly scented plants.
Name: Kelli
Canoga Park, CA, Sunset 19 (Zone 10a)
Where summer is winter
Region: California Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Kelli
Aug 23, 2016 9:57 AM CST
We get crickets here, and they don't bother me. Cicadas don't bother me, though the first time I heard one I thought that there was a short in the electrical wire to the house. Western cicadas do not sound like eastern cicadas. I've never seen one, but I think the western ones are smaller. I'll take everything except the neighbors' loud D.J. parties over baby mockingbird. I am extra sensitive to noise. I cannot take hearing other people's music or shrieking baby mockingbirds.

DH is thinking about getting a mechanical owl. He wonders if it will be a waste of money, but we are at wit's end. I've read all kind of stories on the internet about people having problems with mockingbirds. It seems like the only universally effective solution is to shoot them. I can't do that in city limits.
Take a walk with me at http://cubits.org/dayhikes/
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Photo Contest Winner: 2016
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Newyorkrita
Aug 23, 2016 10:20 AM CST
So sorry about the loud birds!! Group hug Group hug Group hug
(Zone 6a)
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UrbanWild
Aug 23, 2016 10:55 AM CST
Kelli said: It seems like the only universally effective solution is to shoot them. I can't do that in city limits.


Sorry to add to the pile, but this would be illegal in or out of city limits.

Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly scented plants.
Name: Kelli
Canoga Park, CA, Sunset 19 (Zone 10a)
Where summer is winter
Region: California Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Kelli
Aug 23, 2016 11:42 AM CST
I know.
Take a walk with me at http://cubits.org/dayhikes/
Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
Native Plants and Wildflowers Critters Allowed Garden Procrastinator Herbs Vegetable Grower Plant Identifier
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gardengus
Aug 27, 2016 3:19 PM CST
I read once you could play a loud recording of a mocking bird and they would look for another territory

Thumbs down on the other hand it might just drive you away (one more mockingbird)

I would try the bird of prey decoy and maybe a prey sound too . Around here they play raptor sounds on some signs to keep roosting pigeons and sparrow ect..away


Good luck
Cinda
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Kelli
Canoga Park, CA, Sunset 19 (Zone 10a)
Where summer is winter
Region: California Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Kelli
Aug 28, 2016 8:53 AM CST
I would try that but DH would not want me disturbing the neighbors. He's very sensitive about that, probably because I am so easily disturbed.

I am dealing with baby mockingbirds, which are a different animal from adult mockingbirds. The sound of the adults is fine, though they are welcome to poop the seeds of trash plants in someone else's yard. We did get a mechanical owl and DH set it up near baby mockingbird's place and it did seem to shut the brat up. DH said that he didn't hear from it but I was not out. I was surprised that the baby (really a 'teenager') was smart enough to recognize a predator. DH did not hear a mockingbird this morning, though I went out with my protective equipment (iPod with noise-cancelling headphones). It is time for baby mockingbird to grow up.
Take a walk with me at http://cubits.org/dayhikes/
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 29, 2016 1:20 PM CST
Another idea might be to spray the nest with your hose every time you're out there. Got a good nozzle that really shoots a long stream? Really wet it down and tear it up if you can with the water. The birds will at least move the nest but the water most likely will not hurt anyone.

Any chance you can prune the tree/shrub they are nesting in so it's not so comfortable for them? If you can make them uncomfortable enough, they will surely go elsewhere.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Kelli
Canoga Park, CA, Sunset 19 (Zone 10a)
Where summer is winter
Region: California Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Kelli
Aug 30, 2016 8:15 AM CST
DH has tried shooting water at them but it didn't work. They get in among the branches and are hard to pinpoint. We have torn down nests we could reach but they just go across the street and build another.

They nest in virtually any tree or shrub we have. If it was one tree, that would be no problem. DH has enough yard work without having to trim back every tree. Some are too high or are on too steep of a slope to get at to trim. We have a huge pile of yard waste in the yard as it is.

DH got a mechanical owl. It moves it's head. That has been helpful but we don't know how long it will work.

You know that normal birds quit nesting in July. The mockingbirds keep producing like chickens.
Take a walk with me at http://cubits.org/dayhikes/
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Aug 30, 2016 4:57 PM CST
Take heart, Kelli! Fall seems to be falling early in So. Cal. I'm noticing a reduction in the local bird population lately. I think they're all heading to Mexico.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Aug 30, 2016 9:30 PM CST
I actually meant to hose down the nest as often as possible - not shoot at the birds. At least it might make them build their nests further from your house in future.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Kelli
Canoga Park, CA, Sunset 19 (Zone 10a)
Where summer is winter
Region: California Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Kelli
Aug 31, 2016 10:18 AM CST
We have torn down nests before. They just go and build across the street. They seem to know where our boundaries are. That is not far enough away. The babies are so loud that I can hear them in the house when they are across the street. The adults seem to recognize that DH and I are enemies. The second anyone opens the door, they fly to the property line.

This is probably an unsolvable problem. We need them to stay 200 yards away and we can't control what goes on in the neighbors' yards. Baby mockingbirds are extremely loud. I may have mentioned this before, but the only common things louder are the trash truck and a leaf blower.
Take a walk with me at http://cubits.org/dayhikes/
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Aug 31, 2016 11:01 AM CST
Have you discussed it with your neighbors too? They might be sympathetic, and in fact the noise may bother them as well.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Kelli
Canoga Park, CA, Sunset 19 (Zone 10a)
Where summer is winter
Region: California Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Kelli
Aug 31, 2016 11:41 AM CST
I haven't spoken with them about it. In fact, it has probably been a couple weeks since I've seen anyone outside. The way the lots are and with our shrubs, it is hard to see the neighbors. The people diagonally across the street I wouldn't even recognize if I saw them and they have been there for probably eight years. They have a gardener (just like everyone but ourselves) and are never out front. I'm not out front much, either. DH does the vast majority of the front yard work. It's true that people in California don't know their neighbors.
Take a walk with me at http://cubits.org/dayhikes/

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