Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Mockingbird feeding time
This poor mockingbird mom (?) and one of her two fledglings hang around our backyard. These two babies can now fly, but cannot yet feed themselves. Instead, they sit on the fence, fly around the yard, and generally run their mother ragged with their constant begging for food. She brings them red ants, which is something I’d never thought of as bird food. Mimus polyglottos, or the Northern Mockingbird, according to both Peterson's Bird Guide of the Western U.S. and the Cornell Bird Lab, note that the state pajaro de Tejas eats insects and berries. We have—ants, scorpions, and all sorts of beetles, as well as, pyracanthea berries, and mulberry fruits. This year, the family has chosen to nest in a forest of orange trumpet vines (very attractive to ants), desert sage, and another bushy desert plant that grows way too fast for me to keep it cropped and suburban presentable. In other words, we have an unkempt forest of greenery to shelter birds, but is fairly choking my roses.
In years past, parent Mockingbirds would pitch royal fits when Pumpkin no Tail was outside and sleeping on a patio chair. I guess the birds didn't know that this domesticated feline eats only dry cat food. When Inky was in her prime, the yard was fairly littered with Mockingbird feathers. However, now that she is 15-6 years old, she rarely goes outside to hunt; instead, she chooses to watch the Mockingbird action from our bedroom window.
The funniest result of all this songbird opera is that when Buddy II is outside on the patio, the birds don't seem to mind. Evidently, they believe he can neither hunt nor hurt them. (Or, they see the scars on his face and know he cannot fight worth a damn.
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