March 31, 2021
The Mockingbird and the Cardinals have been fighting over the snowball bush in our front yard for the last two months. The Mockingbird had claimed the bush for a nest last year, but several male Cardinals have been trying to take over this spring whenever he is not on the bush. Now the bush has begun to leaf out and the Mockingbird has decided to force his claim. I would rather the Cardinals took the bush as last year the Mockingbird mercilessly dive-bombed Bella whenever she went out to the front year. It would also attack Melissa and me, often coming from out of nowhere and making several quick passes before it flew off to the roof. I had removed the nest during the winter but to no avail.
Mockingbirds are a group of New World passerine (perching or songbird) birds from the family Mimidae. They are best known for the habit of mimicking the songs of other birds, as well as sounds of insects and amphibians. There are a total of 17 species in two genera, although three species of mockingbird from the Galapagos Islands were formerly separated into a third genus, Nesomimus. The only mockingbird commonly found in North America is the Northern Mockingbird. I guess I should be glad there is only one species to take over my yard.
The other problem I had with the Mockingbird was it would steal nesting material from the flowers we hung from the hooks in the porch overhang. We also came out the front door several times and the bird would scare out of the cactus containers Melissa placed outside for air and sun. Apparently, these offered enough protection to shield the young birds. I guess at least the cactus kept the cats from climbing up the racks. Now that it is warmer the racks and containers are once more out on the porch (hopefully they will make it during the cold this week). Since the Mockingbird seems to have won the nesting battle, I have more dive bombing to look forward to this year.
Thoughts: The Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) derives its name from the Greek word polyglottos which means ‘multiple languages’. Mockingbirds are known for singing late at night, even past midnight, and they do this loudly and in rapid succession. I have found it interesting that I have never heard the birds in my yard sing, despite the bluebird and mockingbird pairs that have nested the last three years. Melissa tells me she does her their songs. Maybe I just do not pay attention. I am not the only one not paying attention. Our elected officials have not paid attention to the voters following the last election. Our authorities have not paid attention to the pain being felt by BIPOC. The states do not pay attention as cases rise and businesses open. Paying attention is important. Otherwise, a Mockingbird might dive-bomb you. Do the work. Follow the science. Change is coming and it starts with you.