He must have provided additional musical instruction himself. If he in fact carried a bird to France in , it may have added to its repertoire some sounds common to mockingbirds exported from America. After their month-long transatlantic voyage, the birds interspersed their first European performances with long imitations of the creaking of the ship's timbers. At least two of the birds in the President's House had already received singing lessons when Jefferson purchased them in — for ten and fifteen dollars, the usual price of a "singing" mockingbird. Dick is unquestionably the "favorite" mockingbird whose cage Margaret Bayard Smith described as suspended among the roses and geraniums in the window recesses of the presidential cabinet.
Jefferson, Smith continued, cherished the favorite "with peculiar fondness, not only for its melodious powers, but for its uncommon intelligence and affectionate disposition, of which qualities he gave surprising instances. It was the constant companion of his solitary and studious hours.
Whenever he was alone he opened the cage and let the bird fly about the room. After flitting for a while from one object to another, it would alight on his table and regale him with its sweetest notes, or perch on his shoulder and take its food from his lips.
Often when he retired to his chamber it would hop up the stairs after him and while he took his siesta, would sit on his couch and pour forth its melodious strains. Jamey at Forest for two mockg. Creating a supportive environment where neurodiversity and special abilities are celebrated and unique guidance is provided.
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Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. In North America the mockingbird Mimus polyglottos is a wonderful performer with a rich, melodious, long-continued song.