I was out in the backyard doing stuff for the hens, and I paused by one of the trees to look at something, and heard some peeps. I looked up, and in our young maple there was a nest, just above. I could hear the peep, peep, peep, peep, more like a “wuueeep”, and could see some little head or heads bobbing around. I moved to the other side of the tree and there I could see two of them directly, the nest edge was a bit lower there and they were positioned right by that side. Big beaks and sweet little heads, newishly hatched I’m guessing.
There has been a Northern Mockingbird in our backyard more often than I have ever noticed in the past. Particularly the last two days I’ve noticed it coming into the yard by our old garden, sitting on something there, picking up something from the ground there, also alighting in the Weeping Willow tree, which is several feet behind the Maple where the nest is, but in close proximatey relatively speaking.
So today while I was looking at the nest and showing Russell, I saw the Mockingbird arrive close-by. I went in, Frank was on the phone for me. Then after that phone call I went back out, I showed Victoria where the nest was at that point, and then told the children to all move away from that tree, the parent of those babies wanted to go to them, but wouldn’t with the children there. I thought the babies were Northern Mockingbirds, and the mature birds arrival demonstrated the validity of such thinking. I went over in the yard to move the Leghorn pen, looked back and there was Victoria, still under the tree. The Mockingbird was flying here and there, waiting patiently, but maybe not, for Victoria to leave. So I yelled to her to get away. She did.
As I was done with the Leghorn pen I looked around and the Mockingbird was in the tree nearer to the house, and so I took a wide sweep around to the other side of the yard to get back to the door to the inside, bypassing the nesting tree and the path between the mockingbird and the nest. So as I ducked under the tree by the dog pen, which is right by the house, I looked over and there was the Mockingbird coming out of the Maple. So she went to the babies with what she had in her mouth while she had been waiting, and quickly gave it to them, or whatever she did, and check on them.
I do suppose she was a bit anxious at our attention to her new nest. I don’t know exactly how she escaped nest building notice. But she did. I just happened to be in the exact right spot this morning to hear and see the new babies there. It was very satisfying. 🙂
My Bluebirds aren’t in my scope this year. We took the box down after House Sparrows claimed it. I took great delight in smashing the two eggs they had laid, though sad too that the Bluebirds didn’t have the box to use. Last year was a grand year for their nesting attempts, but something destroyed all three … and I have to guess, since I couldn’t know it at the time, but I do now think it was House Sparrows last year. I didn’t see any House Sparrows around ever then, but their dominance in the nest box this year tells me a lot. Each clutch last year met a different sort of death. All very House Sparrow-like behaviours.
3 + 1 + x = 7 The “x” is the unknowable 2004 killer, but I am fairly sure it’s the House Sparrows, because of their nesting in same box this Spring. Yes, assumption, but not one that will hurt anyone. 🙂
Mr. Bluebird has come to our deck just in the last week, inspecting the little bird house that Russell put together from a kit last year. It sits on the deck, more a decoration that isn’t painted, than a useful box. In any case, it was nice to see him close-up for a bit. We don’t know where they are nesting, but they are around. Just not as prolifically.
I’m very glad to have baby Mockingbirds in our Maple. It’s the smallest Maple in the backyard, but superior for some reason to the Mockingbirds. I know some Mockingbirds nested in our October Glory in the front yard, the same Spring we planted that tree. That was neat. I used to hate Mockingbirds, from nightmare times I had with them in Florida when I lived there, them singing in the middle of the night right outside my room in the Orange tree. No A/C and it was hot and close, muggy, moon shining often during those times. It was a nightmare summer that one year, that turned me to hate Mockingbirds in general.
Years went by, I moved away from there and here in Georgia the Northern Mockingbird has won my respect again. They sing when they do, but it’s not a hot, muggy, Florida in your face sort of thing. 🙂
They are fiesty pretty birds. They duplicate any old sound. They also sing beautifully. I do like them now. 🙂