Mockingjay?

 

Well, I am not a big fan of The Hunger Games, but I swear that I heard the theme Mockingjay call the other day. 

At the first, I thought that my mind was playing a trick on me, but later that day I heard it several more times again. Filled with curiosity, I started to look for an information about what the Hell Mockingjay is. And guess what? The Mockingjay bird is fiction! Then again, I heard its call! How is it even possible? So I went on a quest to figure this out.

It turns out that in Suzanne Collins’ book, the Mockingjay bird was a result of failed government (fictional government of Panem, of course) experiment to create a new breed of bird that would spy on the enemies of the Capitol. The created breed Jabberjays consisted of only male birds and had remarkable ability to memorize and repeat entire human conversations. It was the perfect tool to spy and secretly gather information from the rebels. However, when people of the Districts realized that their private conversations were been transmitted by the birds, they used the Jabberjays to feed lies to the Capitol. When the Capitol found out that all the information received from the birds was no longer accurate, they closed the laboratories and released entire population of Jabberjays into the wild, expecting that whole breed would vanish simply because lack of females. And so it eventually did, but not before they passed on their genetic code to their offsprings. No one expected them to be able to reproduce, but they found suitable mates in the Mockingbird females. The resulting offspring has been named Mockingjay, and although it had lost the ability to memorize words, it became remarkably good at mimicking sounds. 

[source: wikia]

This fictional specie plays a symbolic role in The Hunger Games trilogy. Yet, its fascinating trait of mimicry is very real and exists in the wild, just like the Mockingbird, mentioned earlier.  

Now and you and me know that Jabberjays and Mockingjay are not real, but what is about theme Mockingjay call? While I was searching for Mockingbird sounds, and I have found it interesting, that Mockingbirds can mimic many different sounds such as car alarm, cat’s meowing, cricket’s chirping, and a lot more. Rather than singing their own songs, Northern Mockingbirds learn and repeat the songs of other species. An individual can learn up to 200 songs during its lifetime. Here is a great example of how amazing the Mockingbird is: 

[Audio cut from YouTube Video]

If you are familiar with any bird sounds, the Mockingbird is repeating the songs of Carolina Wren, Northern Flicker, American Robin, House Sparrow, Tufted Titmouse, Blue Jay, Red-bellied Woodpecker, maybe Bluebird, White-breasted Nuthatch. You can hear crickets, frogs, car alarm. Let me know if I am wrong or you have recognize other sounds. 

Yet, I haven’t found the desired fictional Mockingjay call singed by Mockingbird. On the other hand, maybe this one particular bird were able to learn The Hunger Game sounds and now it playing tricks on others. Nah. The Northern Mockingbirds not that often visits peoples’ backyards, so it should be someone local. As a result, after searching Virginia aria birds, I discovered the White-throated sparrow’s songs, which sounds very similar to Mockingjay call.

 
 
 

Some facts: 

  • Johann Friedrich Gmelin, a German naturalist, botanist and entomologist, first described the White - throated Sparrow in 1789.
  • The White-throated Sparrow comes in two color forms: white-crowned and tan-crowned. The two forms are genetically determined, and they persist because individuals almost always mate with a bird of the opposite morph. Males of both color types prefer females with white stripes, but both kinds of females prefer tan-striped males. White-striped birds are more aggressive than tan-striped ones, and white-striped females may be able to out-compete their tan-striped sisters for tan-striped males.
  • White-throated Sparrows show loyalty to their winter territories and are likely to return to the same areas each year.