Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior

Over the past week or so, I have felt blessed to be able to be an eyewitness to a nest of baby mockingbirds in my crepe myrtle tree. I have felt the pain of the mother bird when its baby was killed. And, I have experienced the joy of the baby bird taking its first steps toward learning how to fly. The biggest thing I have observed and learned more about is the protective behavior of the adult mockingbird.

Yesterday, I found myself totally wrapped up in keeping an eye on the baby and adult mockingbirds. It was nearly impossible to get any other work done. I normally would have spent the afternoon weeding my side and back yards ... but there was absolutely no way that the two adult mockingbirds would leave me alone!

When the baby mockingbirds were still in the nest, I found I could move around my backyard without being dive bombed by the adult mockingbirds. Once the birds were out of the nest and hopping around the yard, things changed. They become louder and more vocal and were shouting at me as I entered certain areas of the yard. Quite a few times, they flew at the back of me with some vengeance. "OK, OK!" I kept telling them.

So, I opted to spend a little time with the adult mockingbirds in the back area of my yard near the nest. I was talking to them all the while they answered me back in bird talk ... "Hit the road, sister!" "Scram." "Hey, get outta here!" And, then, probably after I snapped some twenty-two pictures ... "Stop taking my picture!"

Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior in 22 Photos

Here is a sequence of twenty-two photos as I took them of the adult mockingbird exhibiting very protective behavior as I was too near the nest. You can view it like a slide show by clicking on the first one, at the left below, and then cycling through the subsequent photos with the right arrow!

Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 1Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 2
Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 3Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 4
Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 5Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 6
Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 7Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 8
Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 9Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 10
Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 11Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 12
Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 13Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 14
Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 15Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 16
Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 17Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 18
Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 19Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 20
Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 21Adult Mockingbird Protective Behavior 22

Did you have a favorite photo of the adult mockingbird exhibiting its protective behavior? I personally can't pick just one, but have a few that are quite interesting. For example, in #11, I love how the mockingbird seems to look right at me, "What's the matter with you?"

In another blog post, I'll share more photos of the adult mockingbird pair that shows them when they were doing their mating dance!

Want to know more about identifying backyard birds? You might appreciate the National Geographic Backyard Guide to the Birds of North America. I've long been a fan of National Geographic and yearned to be a photo journalist for them. So, I guess in a way I am a backyard bird photo journalist today!


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