Friday, February 7, 2014

Northern Mockingbird: Brief Guest at the Feeder

I was surprised to see a Mockingbird at the feeder a couple days ago.  Even more surprised that it stayed long enough for me to capture a photo.  I suppose it was wanted to see what all the fuss was about, what had attracted dozens of other birds near our front porch.  
I've seen a couple of Mockingbirds in a thinly forested area near the tree line that runs parallel to our driveway, several hundred feet away.  Within a few yards of that general area are holly trees with abundant bright red berries.  Mockingbirds and Blue Jays are both fond of these berries which provide an important food source during the late winter months.  I've taken notice that jays are often seen in that same area.  

Rarely do Mockingbirds visit our feeders so it was nice to have this little guest for a few moments.  

If you’ve been hearing an endless string of 10 or 15 different birds singing outside your house, you might have a Northern Mockingbird in your yard. These slender-bodied gray birds apparently pour all their color into their personalities. They sing almost endlessly, even sometimes at night, and they flagrantly harass birds that intrude on their territories, flying slowly around them or prancing toward them, legs extended, flaunting their bright white wing patches.

The Northern Mockingbird enjoys making its presence known. It usually sits conspicuously on high vegetation, fences, eaves, or telephone wires, or runs and hops along the ground. Found alone or in pairs throughout the year, mockingbirds aggressively chase off intruders on their territory.  Northern Mockingbirds are common in backyards, but they don’t often visit feeders. You can encourage mockingbirds to visit your yard by keeping an open lawn but providing fruiting trees or bushes, including mulberries, hawthorns, and blackberry brambles.

The above information came from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and is posted at  

As I was taking a stroll and approached the other side of our fence line the other day, I heard this mockingbird call then I watched as it flew from the tree to perch upon a cable above the tree line.   It watched my every move as I strolled along the edge of the tree line and briefly perched upon the fence for a few seconds then flew into a nearby tree.  

Audioclip of a Mockingbird singing at night...

I love to hear the many variations of songs from these birds!

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