Welcome, Shlomo


A photo of a Northern Mockingbird, and one of Shlomo's mishpocheh (brethren)

Last week activity at mad maison slowed a little because I was on a business trip to Plano, Texas. While I could write an entire post (perhaps even a few) about the differences between the Greater Dallas area and the Greater San Francisco Bay Area (and why I’m grateful to live in the latter), today’s post is about the new neighbor who greeted me upon my return to mad maison. Our new neighbor didn’t announce himself until after night fell. Once it was dark, he sang his song all night long. Yes, loyal mad maison readers, Shlomo (which is Hebrew for peaceful) is a bird (and yes, irony was present when we named him). After a little bit of research it was clear that Shlomo is a Northern Mockingbird. It seems that when male mockingbirds are without a mate, they sing throughout the night to attract one. While Shlomo hasn’t prevented the residents of mad maison (human or feline) from falling asleep, it’s our hope that he finds a date soon. Of course, Shlomo is one of those small reminders of the differences between New York and the Bay Area. For all of the articles I read about the Peregrine Falcons in Manhattan, I didn’t see many non-pigeon birds in New York City. And of course, avian sightings were even less likely before April or May. But here in temperate San Francisco, with plenty of hills and trees for friends of the forest to make themselves home, Shlomo is welcome.

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