Mockingbirds find their own brand of hope during this period every year. You can hear the endearing sound of their feeling late at night ... if you listen for it.
Male mockingbirds without mating attachments go singing for a significant other in South Florida, night after night after night. Start listening at, say, 11 pm or so and check for birdsongs every now and then until you go to bed. There's a good chance that you'll hear the lonely but eager mockingbirds if any of them live in your neighborhood. And in the Fort Lauderdale area, most neighborhoods seem to attract these birds. The official state bird of Florida, the mockingbird is as common as it is lovely. Shhh, just listen ... At a time of night when birds almost never sing, you will hear a mockingbird working through its vast repertoire to impress any single females. I noticed another male last night, starting around 11:30 and going until early in the morning. As usual for these remarkable creatures, this mockingbird would warble his tune a few times and then begin a new song. Typically, they repeat one bird-melody three or four or five, sometimes six times before starting all over again. Each mockingbird can belt out as many as 200 songs and other sounds, even learning to imitate mechanical noises sometimes. But on pleasant early spring nights you will hear them singing beautiful tunes, melodies that somehow feel inspiring in their hopefulness. These are songs, not of love, but of confidence in finding love. At least love in the way that mockingbirds experience it. And for the rest of us the late-night mockingbird songs are reminders each spring, urging us to keep hoping too - something better may be waiting nearby if we'll try to find it.