Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mockingbirds and Crows

The day before yesterday, I saw 3 mockingbirds.
One flew into a small ornamental tree I happened to be walking past.
He swooped low in front of me and then glided up onto a branch,
where he closed his barred wings 
and turned around to watch the pedestrian traffic.


The second mockingbird I saw was sitting on a branch 
of one of our chindo viburnum shrubs.
Mockingbirds always seem to me to have two speeds: slow and sitting
and fast and flitting.

Mockingbird mating season means noisy nights in South Florida photo
Photo from the Palm Beach Post newspaper.
Visit the Post here:  Palm Beach Post 2010 File photo

The third mockingbird I saw yesterday was flying fast.
It was chasing a crow across the street,
occasionally moving in to goad the crow forward.
Curiously, this is the second time
I have seen a mockingbird chase a crow across a busy intersection
while I was idling at a stop light.

Google images photo,

It is always clear the mocker means business,
giving the crow a  peck or a prompt when it catches up.
And the crow doesn't put up that much of a fight.
Almost like a game, and the mockingbird is the victor.
I've read that this kind of behavior is a common form 
of staking territory or protecting one's nest.
Either way, it's fun to watch the chase.

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