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Click to go to Audubon Society of Omaha Home Page Audubon Society of OmahaEastern Bluebird

Welcome to The Bluebird Box since 1995
Best of Bluebird Mailing Lists Classified

Bluebirds and Mockingbirds (Part 1)

In addition to Messages that have appeared in the Bluebird Mailing Lists on this topic, the following are on the Audubon Society of Omaha website:  Predators and Problems On The Bluebird Trail


Subj: Could of used you all today!
Date: 12/1/99 5:42:06 PM Central Standard Time
From: hpandtl"at"crocker.com (Haleya Priest/Thom Levy)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: hpandtl"at"crocker.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD)

Haleya Priest Amherst MA

As you know I am one of the lucky ones to have 7-10 bluebirds coming daily - several times a day - for doses of mealies and now bluebird banquet.

Well, who should decide this morning - on the coldest day of the season - that all 5 bb feeders belong to HIM, thy KING MOCKINGBIRD.  And me, one who feels totally responsible for the blues, and with a torn ligament in her ankle, needed to run around and try to chase the Mockingbird away. Amazing what one can do in an air cast for bbs.  To no avail. This guy was horrid. He wouldn't let one bb feed. Not once. 7 bbs against a mockingbird and he had those guys shaking in their boots. He'd honestly attack them if they tried to get near. I hobbled to KMart (Walmart hasn't descended on us yet) and bought 5 big tall tupperware containers. My hubbie and I drilled 1-1/2" holes to make some temp feeders. I knew that wouldn't go over well, since HIS highness would still defend the territory for awhile, and it would take time to train the blues so I put a tray of mewos and banquet out back. Thank god blues are smart and it took an hour or two to find them. Well, MR. you know who caught on, so I put another feeder out, this time close to a window so I could be real near the blues - and they found that too. -so MR. immasculated (their winter song is so trite) mockingbird couldn't keep the bbs from all feeders at once. In fact this kept him
busy all day long.  My hubbie refused to load the bb gun for me, but a friend has suggested something called a "super shooter" water gun. That oughta do the trick. But I was thinking about you all, I needed someone with a good scope on a rifle (of course only to scare him away.............)

So, this weekend it is whip out the table saw and start building real bb feeders! H


Subj: mockingbird
Date: 12/1/99 7:47:02 PM Central Standard Time
From: kridler"at"1starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: kridler"at"1starnet.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

Keith Kridler Mt. Pleasant, Texas
I watched 7 Eastern Bluebirds drinking water out of a tractor tire leaned up against an old plow today! Wish Wendell Long had been around.

I believe that enclosing your bluebird feeding platforms with chicken wire with the 2" mesh size will discourage the Mockingbirds. When they can no longer get a free meal they will go and guard another food source. You may have to stretch the wire lengthwise to help reduce the size of the holes closer to a 1&1/2" height X maybe 2&1/2" to keep the mockingbird out.


Subj: Mockingbird
Date: 12/1/99 9:53:56 PM Central Standard Time
From: pinecrestfarm"at"earthlink.net (Donald Edwards)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: pinecrestfarm"at"earthlink.net (Donald Edwards)
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (Bluebird)

Hi Haleya, I feel for you. The second year I had bluebirds,(the first year failed), I had a mockingbird pester the parent bluebirds so bad that they abandoned the babies. I had been watching the mocker but had no idea it could make life so miserable for the bluebirds that they would actually abandon the young .After trying for eight years before getting my first bluebirds the first two years failed , Consequently,I do not welcome the mockers now. I have taken down the houses in the territory that the mockers want and thankfully the bluebirds have chosen different fields so all has been o.k. for the last four years. Everyone on the list should be aware of the damage that the mockers can do.They do not want the houses, just the territory. I regularly see my bluebirds, mostly feeding on juniper berries. I see anywhere from 5 to 25 of them every day.

Ruth Edwards, Westport, MA


Subj: defending Mockingbirds
Date: 12/2/99 8:41:43 AM Central Standard Time
From: kridler"at"1starnet.com (Keith & Sandy Kridler)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: kridler"at"1starnet.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)

Keith Kridler;
Wow already at 58*F in Northeast Texas!

Yes Mockingbirds have bad habits which include chasing the neighbors cat out of your yard, attacking crows, red tail hawks, squirrels, screaming at snakes, pestering dogs non-stop..... Last week I watched Cardinals sulking in the bushes, Blue Jays hiding in a black berry patch and various sparrows (no House sparrows) imitating dried leaves on the ground while a single mockingbird was transformed into a feathered "Tasmanian devil". This feathered fury was attacking a Cooper's hawk that had the audacity to come into her territory and launch a sneak azzzult on the other birds which she cannot even stand to be near her gold mine of privet berries. The whirlwind battle raged on for only about 60 seconds and looked like Mohamed Ali in his heyday shadow boxing an elephant. Although the Mockingbird quickly won on a TKOY (Technically kicked out of the yard) the Cooper's hawk simply decided it was better to eat in another yard.

After tucking tail and leaving with the mocker in hot pursuit the rout continued until out of sight and then out of hearing...Ten minutes later the mockingbird returned to terrorize any bird coming near HER line of privet bushes.

The Mockingbird is one of two bird species which I think should replace the Bald Eagle as a symbol for our country. What other bird do you know who
will stay up ALL night singing, dancing and partying from the roof tops and then come sunrise defend their entire known world from any bully no matter
how big or strong!!!! And truly seem to enjoy their place in the universe???? KK


Subj: Re: Mockingbird
Date: 12/2/99 10:09:20 AM Central Standard Time
From: hubertrap"at"webtv.net (Joe Huber)
Sender: owner-BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Reply-to: hubertrap"at"webtv.net
To: sandy_flowers"at"yahoo.com, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

Hello all, When I read the posts from those who are planting shrubs or bushes that produce berries for Bluebirds the thought of Mockingbirds always comes to mind. Many years ago in Ohio I planted many berry producing shrubs from a wild-life packet the state was providing at low cost. They grew great but the same thing happened to me with a Mockingbird chasing all other birds away. our good intentions don't always pan out like we want. Nature is funny that way. Bluebirds did find other food near by where it grew wild. As the shrubs in my yard matured and produced bountiful crops the Mocking- bird became less
troublesome. most of these berries were gone before winter so they were not much help for winter food. They included High bush cranberry, Autumn Olive, Red Osier dogwood. In the borders of my yard and adjoining fields there were many wild things including- pokeberry,elderberry,Multiflora rose, bittersweet and others. The strange thing is that the Bluebirds that roosted in boxes located in my yard went to other unknown places during the day to feed. When they came into the area to roost during late afternoon they would visit these wild trees and shrubs a few minutes before going to roost. Enough rambling.
Joe Huber Venice Fl.

Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 23:27:32 -0800
From: "R_C Walshaw"
To: "Bluebird Listserve"
Subject: Mocking Birds

I love them too - their antics, their singing, etc. They remind me of  the British Spitfire airplane of World War II when they fly with what looks like circles on their wings. (yes, I am that old!). I have also learned that in this area you can forget about having bluebirds in a house if it is close to a mockingbird's nest. They will run anything off. Bluebird Bob, Coweta, OK


Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 12:12:22 -0400
From: "Rallykat" Rallykat"at"worldnet.att.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu

Help!

The Bluebirds in my backyard nesting box hatched on the 12th of this month and the parents are doing a good job of taking care of them. NOW there are Mockingbirds building a nest only 25 feet from the Bluebird house and the Mockingbirds are being very aggressive toward the Bluebirds. Should I do anything or will the Bluebirds take care of themselves?


Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 13:38:01 -0400
From: "Gary Springer" springer"at"alltel.net
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Mockingbird/Bluebird

Hi Rallykat,

Instead of thinking you must do everything in your power so the bluebirds are successful, try to take a broader view of birding, let the birds take natures course, and watch a real life drama unfold.

Then, we will all learn from your experiences.

Just my opinion.

Gary


Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 15:15:44 -0400
From: "Randy Jones" randyj"at"enter.net
To: Rallykat"at"worldnet.att.net
Cc: "Bluebird Listserve" bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re:

I very much hope someone with experience with the problem will respond. I, frankly, do not know what is advisable. It is illegal, of course, to shoot mockers, and moving the nestbox would seem the only possible solution. I think that's what I would do. I'd hope there was a second location a good distance (200-300 feet) from the mockers. I'd put up a second pole with predator guard, then move the nestbox to it as quickly as I could. But, I want to tell you, I'd talk it over with someone in my state bluebird society first, someone who has a lot more experience than I do.

Good luck.

Randy Jones
Allentown PA

...


Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 21:24:43 -0400
From: John Moseley jnmose"at"bellsouth.net
To: Rallykat"at"worldnet.att.net, Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Mockingbirds

Rallykat,

Last year I worried about our mockingbirds getting the mealworms and bothering the bluebirds until one afternoon I observed a mockingbird "dive-bomb" a neighborhood cat who was jumping at the bluebird box which held 5 chicks. The bluebirds quickly joined in and the cat ran away! Nature's dramas are exciting to observe.

Netta in Charlotte, N. C.

...


Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 20:03:32 -0600
From: "Linda" ljand"at"vcn.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Mockingbirds

Mockingbirds are delightful, joyous birds, and they eat lots of insects troublesome to humans. Why not just enjoy?

I'm beginning to think it's possible to become so fixated on bluebirds that we lose our capacity for taking joy in the bounty of nature. Bluebirds are wonderful. Most of the critters out there have shades of beauty and places in our world that are important to be filled.

Linda
SE Wyoming Grasslands, USA
ljand"at"vcn.com

...


Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2000 22:50:35 -0500
From: "R_C Walshaw" walshaw"at"gte.net
To: "Bluebird Listserve" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Mockingbirds

They are great birds and should be encouraged. However they will not usually tolerate other nestings close to their nest or territory. (they are very territorial). Also they usually have the same territory year after year, at least in this area where many of them do not migrate. I don't put bluebird houses in their territories. Bluebird Bob, NE OK.


Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2000 08:44:34 -0600
From: "Linda" ljand"at"vcn.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Mockers

I had no intent to offend or criticize. There have been a series of Messages over the last several weeks expressing concern about robins, bumblebees, honey bees, tree swallows, etc., and then yours about mockers. Mockers are one of my favorites, so I guess that's why I chose your Message to react to. But really I just wanted to suggest that we all back up a little from our scrutiny of bluebirds and enjoy nature as a whole. A call to perspective, more or less, along the lines of recent Messages urging some restraint in monitoring.

Linda
SE Wyoming Grasslands, USA
ljand"at"vcn.com

...


Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2000 21:22:37 EDT
From: Lisagm1970"at"aol.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Mockingbird

Lisa Miller--Murfreesboro, TN

Okay, I had this mockingbird who wasn't giving my EABL any problem. Now that the eggs have hatched (all 5 now), he is hanging around quite a bit. Sometimes he tries to stop mom and dad from entering the nest, other times he just chases them around the yard. He had a nest in the front yard I believe, but his little guys should have left by now, I think. Is he just bored now with nothing to do?? How can I deter this pest...without breaking the law? Not only is he a native, he's our state bird. Also, what is going to happen once the babies fledge...what if he does this to them. He is also pestering the robins who are nesting nearby, but they are a little more aggressive toward him. He was really annoying this afternoon, and I got my jet-stream hose after him. That seemed to work for a while, but I can't be there all the time. Does anyone have any answers?


Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 20:43:51 -0400
From: "Rallykat" Rallykat"at"worldnet.att.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Bluebirds & Mockingbirds

Oh, my heart is broken. Although the Eastern Bluebirds and the Mockingbirds seemed to settle down and tend to their own business, SOMETHING happened overnight as this morning I could see through the hole that the nesting material was all messed up in the BB box. The male came and fluttered about a foot from the box and would not go in. Finally the female came and peeked in, but did not go in. Then both came with food and went in the box, but came right out with the food still in their beaks. They acted very upset all day. Finally I went out and looked in with a mirror and could NOT see ANY babies. These babies were only 12 days old, too early to fledge. Then I carefully removed the nest for a better look and there was ONE baby in there. Very still. I touched it and it did move slightly so gently I put the nest back in the box and left it alone. The parents are still around, by not nearly as attentive as they were. Where are the other babies?? What got to them. I have seen chipping sparrows, but not house sparrows around. Also, goldfinch. Should I wait a few days and then clean out the box and hope they start another family, or What? Now it's rainy and cold. Woe is me!


Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 21:32:57 -0400
From: "Ruth Edwards" pinecrestfarm"at"earthlink.net
To: "Bluebird" BLUEBIRD-L"at"CORNELL.EDU
Subject: Re mockingbird

Hi Lisa and all,

Your mockingbird is a real danger to the bluebirds. I had a nest of EABL that were feeding young and the mocker harassed the bluebirds so much that the parents actually abandoned the babies. It did not matter that the bluebirds were there long before the mocker arrived. It only lasted about a day and I had no idea that they would actually abandon babies in the nest. I wish I had an answer for you. If you can just get the bluebirds safely fledged, I think they will be o.k. for they disburse naturally and would soon be out of the territory that the mocker has taken over. If the soaker is working perhaps a youngster in the neighborhood would delight in manning it for you. They seem to love to do things like that when they aren't supposed to.!!..

Ruth Edwards, Westport, MA


Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 21:57:12 -0400
From: "Rallykat" Rallykat"at"worldnet.att.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Bluebirds and Mockingbirds

I live near Greenville, SC. I know the babies were only 12 days old because I know they hatched on April 12. The mother started incubating on March 30. I peek into the box with a mirror 2 or 3 times a week. I know when they hatched because when I looked in there was still a part of a shell in there. I've never touched them and just took a quick peek when the parents were off looking for food. I have not seen any fledglings nearby. I guess you can tell that I am quite new to all this and have enjoyed SO much watching them.


Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2000 22:21:22 -0400
From: "Rallykat" Rallykat"at"worldnet.att.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Bluebirds and Mockingbirds

I do thank all of you who responded to my cry of woe. There were 5 babies in there. There is no sign of feathers about. Four are just totally missing. Is it possible for them to fledge at 12 days? I do not have any predator protection. The babies came this far and I really thought we had it made. The box is on a 4 x 4 post. What would you suggest? I will watch for a few days and hope the parents start a new family. Thank you all again. Jan


Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2000 11:12:56 -0400
From: "Gary Springer" springer"at"alltel.net
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Cc: "Gary Springer" springer"at"alltel.net
Subject: Wooden posts/mockingbird

Hello Rallykat,

I agree with Keith's prognosis that the chicks in your nest box were taken by a cat, raccoon, or other larger animal.  In fact, I suspected your nest
box was mounted on a wooden post or tree before I read that this was indeed the case.

In some cases, an aggressive Mockingbird while establishing its territory, will harass bluebirds until they abandon a nest attempt, even after chicks
are several days old.

But, I have never  heard of claims that a Mockingbird invaded the nest.

While it is unfortunate you lost your 12 day chicks, I commend you for monitoring your nest box enough to be able to properly report that the nest
attempt was not successful.

Many, if not most people never have your experience and continue to mount nest boxes on wooden posts and trees that are an invitation to predation such as you have experienced. Many will even read this post thinking that because they haven't noticed disturbed nest material, their nests have not been raided.  But, often there is no disturbance, not just when, but especially when snakes are the predator.  Then, many will think, we don't have snakes here, but, many snakes feed at night during the hot summer weather and they are in every state in the United States.

I once mounted all my nest boxes on trees and wooden posts too.  When I found out what was happening, I replaced all poles with greased metal posts and since,  have never had a nest predated by any animals or ants that can climb a wooden post or tree. When you consider that a one inch EMT pole costs less than $4.00 and takes just minutes to install, it's hard for me to imagine why anyone would not just do it right in the first place.

I hope others can learn from your experience instead of repeating it.

Thank you,

Gary Springer

Writing from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Northeast Georgia, further north than most of South Carolina and a bit of North Carolina
Member NABS,  Bluebird Society of Pennsylvania, and Ohio Bluebird Society
www.realbirdhomes.com


Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 14:16:07 EDT
From: SWool0328"at"aol.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Trouble with Mockingbirds - Any Suggestions??

We have had bluebirds for the last 6 years in our yard, without any trouble. But this spring, after a pair of bluebirds have had their first clutch, and all 4 babies fledged, a pair of very aggressive mockingbirds have staked out our yard as THEIR yard. We've had no mockingbirds in the area the previous 5-6 years. The bluebirds have a second nest built, but now the mockingbirds attack them and any fledglings they see. I have a mealworm feeder that I've left one panel of side glass panel out to feed the BBs. (After several days when I first put the feeder out, the BBs couldn't understand to use the 2 end holes to enter and exit.) But now with the open side area, the mockingbirds are feasting on the worms too... and they divebomb the bluebirds when they sit on the nestbox or the feeder top. And the mockingbirds totally disregard any scare tactics that we've tried. I know the mockingbird is a protected bird, but does anyone have any suggestions how to get rid of them, before they get rid of our bluebirds????? I even removed their nest a few days ago... no babies... but that hasn't helped any. Thanks for the help in advance.

Stan in Baton Rouge, LA


Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 15:14:45 -0400
From: Haleya Priest/Thom Levy hpandtl"at"crocker.com
To: SWool0328"at"aol.com, BLUEBIRD BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Trouble with Mockingbirds - Any Suggestions??

Haleya Priest Amherst MA

This just happened to someone else on the list and we didn't post it to the whole list, but it turns out she was ALSO feeding mealworms. This
happened to me this winter and here is how I solved the problem. REMOVE the mealworm feeder for now. Place an open platform of mealies to the other side of the house right away - out of view from the EABL nest, etc. Get the mockers used to going back there - and they should leave
the EABL alone. Yes, you'll waste some mealies. In the meantime, set up the mealworm feeder out back, too, and your EABL SHOULD get smart enough to see the feeder ie must learn to use the holes OR build a cage over the feeder (or another flat platform) so only the EABLs can get in. My
dimensions of the "latticed"openings were about 1 3/4" by a 1 1/2". The EABL are ok entering those dimensions. If starlings come reduce to 1 3/8
and you'll keep 99.9999% of them out. Basically I built a crate and then built lattice on it for openings. Anyway, Mockers can't get into these
dimensions. EABL are happy because they can - they'll bitch and moan but they ought to figure it out. I started with 2" chix wire - which the
mockers finally could get into that, and starligns figured that out too - but it got the EABL used to it - then I made the lattice. Once the EABL have figured out to go to the back yard to feed on teh platform, then put out the lattice thing somewhat nearby but not EXACTLY where the open tray is and the EABL will be able to feed and the mocker won't. They'll still come sometimes and bug them, but the EABL will be able to trick them and go get food when they aren't looking. Eventually the mockers will loose interest altogether. THE MAIN THING IS GET THAT FEEDER OUT OF SITE ASAP. I now have NO problems with the mockers. He still lives here, but does not pose a threat. At one time I was ready to pull my hair.
Hope this makes sense - I am writing in a hurry. Let me know if I need to clarify. H


Date: Tue, 02 May 2000 16:44:46 EDT
From: "Kevin Bloom" kjbloom20"at"hotmail.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"CORNELL.EDU
Subject: THOSE MOCKERS

Kevin Bloom
Sunbury PA (55 miles North of Harrisburg)
E-mail: kjbloom20"at"hotmail.com
Lat: 40:50:29.735N Lon: 76:40:58.375W
Member of:
NABS,BSP,OBS,BAN,MBT,NCBS,NYSBS,EBF,BAM,NHBC,VBS,BBRP,IBS,IBP,TBN,PBRP
THE BLUEBIRD-L REF-GUIDE: http://www.crosswinds.net/~bluebirdguide/
CHECK OUT THE NESTBOX CAM:
http://birdsource.cornell.edu/birdhouse/camframe.html
Just re-subscribed.

While offlist, I heard "rumors" that said on this list, was a problem with mockingbirds. What I heard: 1). Mockers are dangerous to bluebirds. 2). They drive away the blues. 3). Some wish they could shoot them at times.

OK. First of all, let me remind you that mockingbirds are native to North America. That means the bluebirds had to deal with them (which they did) before man set foot on this continent. SURE mockingbirds are annoying! Always have been and always will be! For a minute now lets just look at it at a bluebirds point of view. Mockingbirds are not dangerous to bluebirds. Yes, there have been reports of them harrasing the bluebirds until they finally abandoned their nest and young possibly. What I am saying, to sum it up for the bluebird, is that if you had the same annoying neighbor that came everyday to "visit" you should I say. Would you move? I sure would. Even still, on most cases of mockingbird harrassment has been where the bluebirds are being fed. Mostly.

Now, lets look at it from a mockers point of view. Imagine the more "favorable" neighbor or bird being fed and little ole you sitting there watching them getting fed and it looking so EASY. You are not aloud to come and eat with them. You have to work and find your own food to feed for your family. Wouldn't you feel jealous? Be HONEST! Me, I feed my mockers, always have and plan to always do! Whoever said that you will have to WASTE your mealworms and feed the mockingbirds in a different place.................WASTING??? I serioulsy do not know who that person was and don't care, but let us stop having a negative attitude towards these birds!! OK??

Since I have fed my mockingbird pair mealworms since the first day I recieved my first shipment of mealworms, something strange has taken place. Yes, this might sound strange.......but it is true. My mockingbird pair has not once, in the past 7 years bothered any of my bluebirds, with giving exception to robins. Strange but true. So yes I do like those darn mockers. So sue me.


Date: Tue, 02 May 2000 18:53:11 -0500
From: Kathleen Oschwald nestbox"at"1starnet.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: THOSE MOCKERS -- I like them, too!

...

I really enjoy my mockingbirds, and have never seen them bother my bluebirds, or any other birds around here, for that matter. As you mentioned, Kevin, bluebirds have had to contend with mockingbirds, (and robins, and owls, and hawks, etc.) for centuries. It's easy to want to protect "our" bluebirds from EVERYTHING, but that's not possible, and actually counter to the natural way of things.

I'm going to quote from Keith Kridler's post of last year, defending mockingbirds: (I saved it, because I liked it so much)

The Mockingbird is one of two bird species which I think should replace
the Bald Eagle as a symbol for our country. What other bird do you know who
will stay up ALL night singing, dancing and partying from the roof tops and
then come sunrise defend their entire known world from any bully no matter
how big or strong!!!! And truly seem to enjoy their place in the
universe????

Kate Oschwald
Sumner, TX
100 mi NE of Dallas


Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 01:06:51 -0400
From: "Elizabeth Nichols" birdlady"at"netstorm.net
To: kjbloom20"at"hotmail.com
Cc: Bluebird-L"at"Cornell.edu
Subject: Mockingbird

Hey there Kevin Bloom and All:

What makes you think you are the only person feeding Mockers? When I visit Bluebirds on the trail with goodies for them Mr. Mocker gets his own private supply because he sings so pretty and when eating mealies he is leaving blues alone. It's called diversionary tactics. When Mocker sings in the night it is like a lullaby. Hooray for Mockers!

Betty Nichols, Middletown, MD


Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 00:50:18 -0500
From: "Fread Loane" firefrost2"at"earthlink.net
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: More Mockingbirds

Our Mockingbird (mimus polyglottos) was aptly named. I recall as a small child, going to sleep listening to a Mockingbird singing his heart out just outside my window. I would lie there and attempt to identify the different bird songs he had included in his bubbling songs! I encourage you to take time and listen to his songs to see how many different birds you can identify in his mimicking. In my opinion, they are a joy to have singing around the house. The definition of polyglot is: speaking or writing several or many languages!

Fread J. Loane
Tulsa, Oklahoma


Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 14:10:35 -0400
From: "Mary Jane Thomas" mjbt"at"epix.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Mockingbirds/Bluebirds

23 miles north of Ithaca, NY

We've had both nesting mockingbirds and nesting bluebirds co-existing quite peacefully in our yard the past few years. The mockers like mealworms and I've purchased larger amounts and put out a second feeder tray so everyone has a chance. The mockers have never bothered the bluebirds. Sadly, one of our mockers seems to have vanished and I think it's probably the male since I've not heard one singing in some time. I think, perhaps mistakenly, the male is the one who sings.

Our nesting bluebirds are beginning to look like bluebirds and will fledge before many more days.

Found one tree swallow egg in a nest this morning.

Am practicing my marksmenship because of the house sparrows. My husband has gotten three already and there are more out there waiting.

--
Mary Jane Thomas
mjbt"at"epix.net
In the beautiful Finger Lakes Wine Country of New York State!


Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 18:41:43 -0400
From: kingston"at"cstone.net (Ron Kingston)
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: mocker & T.J.

The Mockingbird was Thomas Jefferson's favorite bird and he kept one for a number of years as a pet in a cage at Monticello.


Date: Wed, 03 May 2000 21:32:18 -0400
From: "Katherine S. Wolfthal" kate"at"nirvana.ziplink.net
To: Loons&Larks loonlark"at"egroups.com, Bluebird-L Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Mockingbird nest disturbed

A dear friend called me from Sacramento, CA this afternoon, desperate because, in pruning an overgrown shrub, she had uncovered a nest. There
were no eggs in it and, while she watched, the parent birds came back and fluttered and dithered around their nest. Through her description, and with book in hand, I helped her ID the bird as a mockingbird. I tried to console her by saying it would have been worse if there had been eggs in the nest, and that they could probably still start another nest somewhere else, but she understandably felt terrible, and went out and tried to move the remaining branches over the nest in an attempt to re-create the sheltered situation that existed before she pruned away their cover.

My question is: how likely are the mockingbirds to persist in using that nest, vs. building a new one elsewhere?

--
Katherine
Weston, MA
-------------
kate"at"nirvana.ziplink.net


Date: Wed, 3 May 2000 22:03:50 -0500
From: "R_C Walshaw" walshaw"at"gte.net
To: "Bluebird Listserve" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Mockingbirds

As others have noted they are a very special bird. They are fearless and will attack anything that intrudes into their territory, even hawks. Bluebirds in this area will not nest near them and I will move a bluebird house if a Mockingbird takes over the territory. (I will leave a house that is in house sparrow territory because of the "sting" approach that I subscribe to).

Regarding using the ST-1 house sparrow trap, there was a good tip in a letter to this month's issue of Nature Society News. The recommendation was to use nesting material instead of bait if you are having problems getting house sparrows into this trap. Worth a try although I would watch the trap closely as it will probably be attractive to a wider range of birds. Bluebird Bob, Northeast OK.


Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 13:24:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: Kerry Sweet ksweet3450"at"yahoo.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Cc: walshaw"at"gte.net
Subject: Mocking Bird and Bluebird territory overlap???

Hi all,

Well this has not been a good year for the Eastern Bluebirds(EABL)in my yard.

They finally had a brood of 5 babies fledge on June 6th and now this is their SECOND attempt with the second brood.

First nest (for 2nd brood) was abandoned after the eggs were destroyed by the House Sparrow(HOSP). They now have their second nest in a different box in a different part of the yard ... They have three eggs so far.

About three days ago a Mocking Bird started her nest about 15ft from the EABL box, it is a Glibertson PVC box with the platform top...Well it makes a perfect perch under the Mocking birds nest and I hardly ever see the EABL around the box BUT she is still going in and laying eggs.

Don't get me wrong unlike some people I love the Mocking Bird its a feisty bird ... but this little pair of EABL is having a really rough season.

After reading the Best of Bluebird-L about the Mocking Birds and Bluebirds I see that it WILL NOT work. So I feel I have no other choice but to move the EABL box.

My question is how far can I move it with out making this worse for the EABL??? I want to do it As soon as possible before she starts Incubation or abandons this nest also. I can't see the EABL staying in this situation and I don't see the Mocking Birds letting them stay. I really need some advice here...and please hurry.

Kerry in Okla.


Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 17:01:08 -0400
From: "Bruce Burdett" blueburd"at"srnet.com
To: ksweet3450"at"yahoo.com
Cc: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Mocking Bird and Bluebird territory overlap???

Kerry, et al, - My first reaction would be to move the EABL house by degrees, maybe 10' or so at a time, and carefully, provided you have the room. I know that it works with bee-hives, and I know that it works with meal- worm feeders. It's time-consuming, and labor-intensive, but it might help.

Bruce Burdett NH

...


Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2000 17:29:33 -0700
From: Linda Violett lviolett"at"earthlink.net
To: "Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu" Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Mocking Bird territory overlap???

Linda Violett - Yorba Linda, Calif.

Kerry, when I relocate an active nestbox, it's normally over 30' from the original spot and the birds don't have ANY problem finding their box. I use hanging boxes and even though a series of moves the moves could be done quickly and easily, I think a move 30 feet (once) is less disruptive to bluebirds than a series of moves.

...


Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2000 14:51:32 -0700 (PDT)
From: Kerry Sweet ksweet3450"at"yahoo.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Mocking Bird and Bluebird territory has me confused!!

Hi all,
I wanted to let you know how things are going with the Mocking bird and Eastern bluebird (EABL) territory dilema.

Well my husband and I moved the EABL box three different times 15ft each time. We had different responses on how far to move the box at a time... from 5ft, 10ft, 30ft so we went 15ft. Mocker still perches on top but not as bad. We made it a perch of its own.

I am confused on what is going on... This is what I have observed in the past few days. The EABL didn't abandon the nest in fact they went
right to it in a matter of minutes after each move.

I don't see much of the male EABL I did see him at the box one day. He went inside and was in there for several minutes with the female looking in...What does he do in there?

I have seen the Mocker in hot pursuit of the male EABL two different times. I don't think the Mocking bird is letting him feed the female. I haven't seen him there much at all.

I also seen the male EABL still defending the old nest box(the first brood was raised in) on the other side of the yard.

I see the female I guess incubating the eggs...she is in the box all the time but has her face sticking out of the hole ALOT not down on the nest!! however it is HOT here about 95 during the day. still don't see the male at the box but in the front yard sometimes.

I witness a fight between several bluebirds in the top of the trees. Maybe it was the babies from the last brood I couldn't see very well but could hear them.

Can the female EABL eat and incubate eggs and feed the babies by herself?? Maybe the male has taken the first brood off to get them out on their own??

Sorry so Long!
Confused
Kerry in Okla.

...


Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2000 14:52:02 -0700 (PDT)
From: Kerry Sweet ksweet3450"at"yahoo.com
To: Bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Mocking birds & Bluebirds update!!

Hi All,

This has been a hard year for the Eastern Bluebirds.

My husband and I moved the box last night late at about dusk...I felt this would be the best way to go about getting some relief from the sun. We had moved it a few times before due to the Mocking bird so this (hopefully being the last move) didn't seem to effect the Eastern Bluebirds because the female went right to the box when we left. With this move the box is in the shade by noon and is shaded the rest of the day.  It did make it a little harder for the Mocking birds to land on top of the box due to the trees being over head, her swooping in and landing has a bit of a kink in it now. She or he(I can't tell the Mockers apart) really give the Bluebirds a hard time, yesterday was the first day for the babies to hatch. The Mocking bird would chase the bluebirds away from the box and it would actually lean over and try and peak in the hole.  The minute the Mocker would leave the female Bluebird would attempt to fly back however she would fly past the box and hover high in the air out in front of the box then back to the tree.  She had an insect in her mouth so I thought that the male must be in the box ... she did this several times almost like she was afraid to go in the box. The male then went in and she landed on top as soon as the male would exit the box she would go in, it was really strange I thought.  This behavior went on most of the evening with the Mocking bird constantly harassing them. I DO NOT believe that Mocking birds and Bluebirds can live in harmony together in the same territory. Maybe together but NOT in harmony. Those of you that have had it happen must of had some very NICE Mocking birds. BUT WE ARE HANGING IN THERE and have 5 new babies bluebirds... :)

Thank you all for your thoughts and advise.

Kerry in Okla.


Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2001 14:12:56 -0500
From: Alicia Craig craiga"at"wbu.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: mockingbirds

I have had a number of calls from people about mockingbirds bothering their bluebirds and nesting boxes.

Any thoughts about how to discourage mockingbirds? Someone suggested relocating the mockingbird...not only is that not legal, it really isn't a
good idea this time of year, or any really.

I would welcome any suggestions that have worked for folks in the past.

Alicia Craig
Senior Manager, Nature Education
Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc.
11711 N. College Ave. #146
Carmel, IN 46032
317.571.7100
mailto:craiga"at"wbu.com
http://www.wbu.com

Be a Citizen Scientist, visit http://birds.cornell.edu/citsci/

Watch BirdWatch on PBS, visit http://www.pbs.org/birdwatch


Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2001 14:54:28 -0600
From: "Bruce Johnson" bjohnso3"at"midsouth.rr.com
To: craiga"at"wbu.com, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: mockingbirds

----- Original Message -----
From: "Alicia Craig" craiga"at"wbu.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Sent: Tuesday, March 06, 2001 1:12 PM
Subject: mockingbirds

I have had a number of calls from people about mockingbirds bothering their
bluebirds and nesting boxes.

Any thoughts about how to discourage mockingbirds? Someone suggested
relocating the mockingbird...not only is that not legal, it really isn't a
good idea this time of year, or any really.

I would welcome any suggestions that have worked for folks in the past.

Alicia Craig
Senior Manager, Nature Education
Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc.
11711 N. College Ave. #146
Carmel, IN 46032
317.571.7100
mailto:craiga"at"wbu.com
http://www.wbu.com

Be a Citizen Scientist, visit http://birds.cornell.edu/citsci/

Watch BirdWatch on PBS, visit http://www.pbs.org/birdwatch


Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2001 15:09:28 -0600
From: "Bruce Johnson" bjohnso3"at"midsouth.rr.com
To: craiga"at"wbu.com, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: mockingbirds

Hello, Alicia & All:

Snip
Any thoughts about how to discourage mockingbirds? Someone suggested relocating the mockingbird...not only is that not legal, it really isn't a good idea this time of year, or any really.
Snip

My experiences with mockingbirds has been that they are very, very territorial, aggressive and intelligent. I also know from talking privately with bluebird lovers, they are thoroughly disliked by a lot of these folks. If you have witnessed first hand bluebirds being harassed, and I
suspect, in some cases killed by these birds you may understand why.

The mockingbirds I have dealt with have been intelligent to know that they are not wanted when a few rocks are tossed their way and that usually ends the problem. It usually takes several episodes to accomplish this though.

Best regards,

Bruce Johnson ~ Life Mbr. NABS
2795 Long Oak Drive
Germantown (extreme western) TN
38138


Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2001 16:34:27 EST
From: Phl806"at"cs.com
To: craiga"at"wbu.com, BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: mockingbirds

In a Message dated 3/6/01 2:05:03 PM Central Standard Time, craiga"at"wbu.com writes:

Any thoughts about how to discourage mockingbirds? Someone suggested
relocating the mockingbird...

i have learned to ignore them and do nothing else. i have mockers that identify with my yard as their territory. how do you think they react when they see bb's moving in? 'til now i have not seen a major disaster occur, and usually after a few spats, they learn to co-exist. it can be a frightening
thing to watch, but give them time and it will work out...... i hope!

Phil Berry
Gulf Breeze, Florida


Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2001 16:52:42 -0500
From: Wendell Long mrsimple"at"go-concepts.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: mockingbirds

At 02:12 PM 3/6/2001 -0500, Alicia Craig wrote:
I have had a number of calls from people about mockingbirds bothering their
bluebirds and nesting boxes.

Any thoughts about how to discourage mockingbirds? Someone suggested
relocating the mockingbird...not only is that not legal, it really isn't a
good idea this time of year, or any really.

I would welcome any suggestions that have worked for folks in the past.

Alicia Craig
Senior Manager, Nature Education
Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc.
11711 N. College Ave. #146
Carmel, IN 46032
317.571.7100
mailto:craiga"at"wbu.com
http://www.wbu.com

Be a Citizen Scientist, visit http://birds.cornell.edu/citsci/

Watch BirdWatch on PBS, visit http://www.pbs.org/birdwatch

Alicia....I had another crazy relative, (2nd cousin, twice removed and taken to the asylum three times,) who gave testimony on how he did it one
time that worked for him. Thank goodness I have one of the meanest bluebirds who can take care of himself--no matter what bird, bar none. He
sorta reminds me of my bride. Anyway, cousin Clifford JoeBob one year had a really bad mockingbird that got on his nerves so much so, the talk was it was the reason he had to be committed for severely years down the road. But I think not I think there were other more real reasons to do
with his basic personality(he was in Nature Education)--just a coincidence of course. On with the anecdotal research, one year he had great success with discouraging the mockingbird without having neither the bird nor himself relocate by any violent means(though the bird did not appear
again). Here's how he worked it--he noticed the bird always sang the same songs in the same order every time and never changed a call or note or
lyric or cord. He lived in the South so he liked country music and he also did everything by the numbers 1, 2, 3 so he was a Methodist by Religious
practice--the bird I mean not cousin Clifford--Clifford was a traditional Southern Baptist--a graduate of the Southwest Theological Seminary in
Texas. So you had this Methodist mockingbird(who had seen the Movie by the way) and you had this Southern Baptist Neighbor and Minister on the side(two jobs). Well, as I said, the bird would sing in order and practice every Wednesday night late into the morning. He would start out with the House sparrow as being his first song, then follow in this order: European Starling, Blue-footed Booby, Coo-coo bird, Kentucky Warbler, Atlantic Puffin, American Cardinal(as opposed to Roman Cardinal) Carolina Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch, Crow, Morning Dove, Yellow-breasted Sapsucker plus a surprise bird thrown in next--one from Central American region, and always end with the sound of a pet Canary singing Polly wants a cracker. After Clifford put all this in order on cd, he then changed the order, added the beautiful sound of the Loon and a few quakes from and Old Spike Jones Recording of Rowing in my Dory with songs from the Eiders. He played the back to him at 5am through an enormous sound and speaker system he had installed in a big Oak tree where the mockingbird spent the night trying to get some much needed rest from being so hyper and aggressive in personality makeup. This was before drugs became so popular in grade school. Anyway to make a longstory short and more convincing, the mockingbird was gone in two weeks time according to Cousin Clifford. Personally, I could never find that much control over a birds behavior.

So, I just leave the mockingbirds alone and soon they move on down the road to my neighbors farm where they all get along just fine.

I am a big fan of Wild Birds Unlimited and Carmel, Indiana. Please keep up the good work and thanks for hearing me out on your question.

Regards in Selling good clean Bird Seed,
Wendell


Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 08:55:56 -0800 (PST)
From: Horace Sher hjsher1"at"yahoo.com
To: craiga"at"wbu.com
Cc: Bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Mockingbirds bothering Bluebirds

Hi Alicia..I have a BB feeder about 30-35 ft. from a BB nestbox. At times the local Mockingbirds tried to keep the BB from the feeder, but haven't bothered them in a couple weeks. I've never seen the Mockingbirds interfere with the BB around their nestbox last year & so far this year..but the year is young yet. I generally put out a lot of different kinds of food for all the birds (choices, not quantity)...& I think this helps keep most of them happy, including Mockingbirds. Some of the foods I put out are.. peanutbutter suet, millet, cracked corn, sunflower seeds both
kinds..large & small, cat food for the Bluejays, whole peanuts on the ground for Bluejays & Titmouse, crumbled corn bread on the ground, peanuts in a peanut feeder, Dogwood berries & raisins for the EABL in their feeder. The food I throw on the ground is in adjacent separate spots. Sometimes I throw some berries on the ground & the Mockingbirds have gone after them. So I don't put out large quantities of bird food..only what I've learned that they eat up within a short period of time..say a day or two. You can email me for further discussion about this if you like...Horace in NC.

=====


Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2001 17:03:38 -0400
From: Haleya Priest mablue"at"gis.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: RE: Mockingbirds

Haleya Priest Amherst MA

Mockers: I've had a Mocker living here for 2 seasons now. Once nesting season begins, he doesn't really bother my bluebirds nesting. However, once the season is over and it becomes very cold, he decides the entire yard belongs to him. He becomes psychotically territorial during the winter. He keeps flocks of even 100 starlings at bay! Since I feed my blues all winter long, this was a problem. Even with the new slotted feeder, and even though he can't gain entrance, he will attack the blues at times coming to feed. He just doesn't like anything at this time in his territory.

So what I've done is to move the feeder to the back yard. This works well, as his favorite place to perch is in the front yard. Our house is in between. He just can't possibly keep track of what is out of sight to him.

I assume the same might be true for nestboxes. Find where his favorite perch is and then put the house (person's house) between his perch and the nest box. I have heard from others on this list that Mockers HAVE chased off nesting bluebirds - so can be a real problem, but again, he leaves my nesters alone - even though my nestbox is within sight of his perch. It is only the winter where it becomes a problem.... Hope this helps. :-)

Haleya


Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 14:53:49 -0600
From: "emcooper" emcooper"at"bayou.com
To: Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Eastern Bluebirds

Hello Everyone:

For days now, a pair of Eastern Bluebirds have been sitting on nestbox #2 and the rain gauge near it in my backyard and taking turns going in and out of the box. The male is so big and fat (probably from all the raisins I fed him this winter) and he looks so fine sitting on the nestbox that I painted bluebirds on.

This morning Miss Bossy Mocking Bird came out there and was giving them a good flogging and she did it a few more times. So my very supportive husband went out there and let her know that she could't do that. There is a nest in nestbox #3 and they come to it everyday. Maybe they are waiting on this cold weather to go away. I hope so.

My new e-mail address is emcooper"at"bayou.com

Evelyn Cooper
Delhi, La.


Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2001 21:41:46 -0500
From: "Bruce Johnson" bjohnso3"at"midsouth.rr.com
To: "Bluebird Ref." BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Male bluebird KO's mockingbird

I usually feed a pair of bluebirds a few mealworms twice each day, early morning and late afternoon. I place the worms on a small tray mounted on the top of a steel post.

The bluebirds had already eaten or carried all the worms to their young when a mockingbird landed on the tray with his back turned toward a male bluebird some distance away. I looked up just a few feet before the bluebird flew into the mockingbird with his legs outstretched like a falcon about to grasp his prey.

The force of the impact knocked the mockingbird to the ground totally addled. A few seconds later it flew to the branches of a nearby tree for a minute of so then vacated the area. The bluebird acted as if it was a non-event.

Had I not seen this happen, I would not believe it. I admit I was just finishing a drink, but it was a Sprite. I'm glad my wife was there to witness this also, or she would be carting me off to the funny farm.

I have always said that the bluebirds are the good guys and lose every time, but these guys evidently believe otherwise.


From: "Ruth Edwards" pinecrestfarm"at"earthlink.net
To: "Bluebird" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re Mockingbirds
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2002 15:43:14 -0500

Hi all,  Watch out for the mockingbirds anywhere near a bluebird nestbox! Only the second year that I had a bluebird nesting, a mockingbird moved into the area and harassed the adult blues so much that the blues abandoned the young that they were feeding.  I was photographing the blues and saw it happening, but being new at it I did not realize that  it would be so bad as to cause the blues to abandon young until it was too late. I don't know what I would have done about it then if I had known, but my bluebird houses are now in a different area which is not to the liking of the mockers who like the evergreens . Ruth Edwards, Westport, MA


Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2002 10:20:30 -0400
From: Haleya Priest mablue"at"gis.net
To: BLUEBIRD-L BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Mockingbirds/psychology lesson

Haleya Priest Amherst MA
    May I vent? This morning I watched (once again) our mockingbird completely take over every box in our yard, the feeder, and the bird bath (all at once). I've decided Mockingbirds are definitely psycho! (Please note that I respect Mockingbirds - just not when they mess with my bluebirds!!!!!!)

   The term "whacko" or "psycho" suits me fine, but being a mental health professional, I have to stay calm long enough to give them an official diagnosis. In this case the Antisocial Personality Disorder is quite suitable! Judge for yourselves:

There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others ......... , as indicated by three or more of the following:
1) failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors ........
2) deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure
3) impulsivity or failure to plan ahead
4) irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or azzzults
5) reckless disregard for safety of self or others
6) consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations
7) lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another

I rest my case. There, now I feel better. :-) H


From: "Fawzi P. Emad femad <at> fpemad <dot> com
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Mockingbirds/psychology lesson
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 09:29:41 -0500

Dear Haleya,

Having heard your complaints about one Mocking person, I have to respond in order to preserve the peace and to be fair to all concerned.  While I do not go along with all of what Mr. M does all day (and night,) I do believe Mr. M is good to have, is a useful and productive citizen and adds a great deal of happiness to all members of society.  So, here we go:

May it please the birders;

1. Some people think that just because one is dressed in royal or other blue they become the King and thus have special privileges.

2. Supermarkets are open for all who fit in the doors to get food.

3. Being a happy singer singing in many voices, should be considered a rare skill and a gift from heaven.

4. Persistence and hard work pay back.  Never give up!  That's the motto.

5. A society minus diversity is doomed.  We need all kinds...

6. It takes two to tango (tangle.)  If the guy in blue would leave others alone, and would let me go freely, there would be no fights.  I need to eat and have a family too.

7. The music I make (while irritating to some) is often considered sublime.  After all, I am the nightingale...

Fawzi

Fawzi Emad in Laytonsville, Maryland
femad"at"comcast.net

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Haleya Priest
  To: BLUEBIRD-L
  Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2002 9:20 AM
  Subject: Mockingbirds/psychology lesson

...


From: "emcooper" emcooper"at"bayou.com
To: femad"at"comcast.net, "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Mockingbirds/psychology lesson
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 09:25:56 -0600

In my situation, the Mockingbird was not trying to get along, period.  She was intimidating and flogging the bluebirds on their nestbox and trying to run them out of the backyard.  She flew from tree to powerline screaming and harassing the bluebirds.  I let her know she was not welcome in the backyard with that kind of behavior.

Evelyn Cooper
Delhi, La.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Fawzi P. Emad femad <at> fpemad <dot> com
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2002 8:29 AM
Subject: Re: Mockingbirds/psychology lesson

...


Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2002 11:06:49 -0500
From: "Seward, Elizabeth D." Elizabeth.D.Seward2"at"usdoj.gov
Subject: re:Mockingbirds/psychology lesson
To: "'Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu'" (BLUEBIRD-L) Bluebird-L"at"cornell.edu

Perhaps the Mockingbirds in Maryland (suburban D.C.) are less aggressive than those in Louisiana and Mazzzchusetts.  Mine visits one of our feeders from time to time, visits the heated birdbath, and departs.  He doesn't seem to bother the blues, but, then again, they won't challenge his appearance on the feeder. 

Diane Seward
Potomac, MD  (about 20 miles from Fawzi)


From: "dean sheldon" dsheldonjr"at"hotmail.com
To: BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)
Subject: FOR SALE
Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2002 11:43:53 -0500

TO THE EVER FAITHFUL AMONGST YOU: Be it known that I would sell my soul for a year round pair of Mockingbirds on our 30 acres here in north central Ohio. Bluebirds...or no bluebirds...mockingbirds have to be the most enchanting avian creature ever invented. They are occasionally resident here....and when they are...our lives are better. Dean Sheldon, Ripley Township, Huron County, OH. NO THREATENING PHONE CALLS OR EMAILS, PLEASE..{:^)["at""at""at"


Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2002 18:50:55 -0400
From: Haleya Priest mablue"at"gis.net
To: Theresa"at"bowecho.com
CC: " (BLUEBIRD-L)" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: Mockingbird, was: Re: FOR SALE

Haleya Priest  Amherst MA
    Now that I've thoroughly trashed Mr Mocker, I can say, Dean is right about at least one thing here - their song is absolutely unique! I'd go to the REF GUIDE: http://www.birds.cornell.edu/bluebird/  and look for on-line field guides. There you will find your Mr Mocker.

   I'd love to hear from others in terms of the funniest things they've heard a Mocker imitate.

   They do the EABL perfectly, but my most fond memory of their imitation is of a mallard duck! "Quack, quack, quack", over and over again mixed in with the usual.... :-) H


Date: Wed, 06 Feb 2002 16:39:03 -0600
To: bluebird-l"at"cornell.edu (BLUEBIRD-L)
From: "Tracy L. Powell" tlp01"at"uark.edu
Subject: Re: Mockingbirds/psychology lesson

One of my favorite things about spring is seeing mockingbirds fight and
chase crows. That always brings a smile to my face.

We've always had bluebirds and mockingbirds nesting in our yard and I've never seen problems between the two.

Tracy Powell
Fayetteville, Arkansas

"Nothing spurs one's inspiration more than necessity..."
Gioachino Rossini


From: "Gary Springer" springer"at"alltel.net
To: "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Cc: "Gary Springer" springer"at"alltel.net
Subject: Psychotic Mockingbird
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2002 03:57:38 -0500

Although I don't have the proper medical credentials,  I believe Haleya's use of the word psychotic for describing Mockingbirds on her property is a perfectly valid diagnosis for some of the Mockingbirds here in Northeast Georgia.

They can be all of the positive and negative things written to list thus far:  Enchanting singers that during the full moon will often deliver their performance all night long with amazing variation in song that includes not only the imitation of any bird but other animals and mechanical sound as well, and, overly aggressive birds that will chase all other creatures away from a favorite haunt including birds from a feeder, even though it has no interest in the contents of the feeder.

Anyone observing the Mockingbird that once visited my property would definitely agree that at least this one individual was in fact psychotic.

Although they imitate the songs, call notes and scolds of other birds, they also have a few unique calls in their repertoire, at least one of which,  in my opinion, is obnoxious, shrill and not melodious or pleasant in any way. (Nothing personal Maynard,  we all have our gifts and weaknesses and I am among those on this list that rank you very high as a birder and communicator.  But because Wendell included your voice in his description of the sound of the Mockingbird I conclude he must have heard you sing)

This one particular Mockingbird delivered that annoying shrill call repeatedly for five days as it raced back and forth across the property for a distance of about 150 yards breaking its pace only to chase any living thing it encountered entirely out of the area, including the bluebirds which abandoned five 3 day old chicks.

Someone once explained that young mockingbird males that are unsuccessful in attracting females to a selected breeding territory exhibit this psychotic behavior.  But, judging by its eratic and enormously energy consuming antics, it seemed more to me like it ate some halucinogenic muchsroom or other wild poisonous fruit with the same effect, maybe Chinaberry.

I don't know if this particular mockingbird decided upon a new territory, a hawk tired of all the squawk made an easy meal of it, the drug it had taken turned out to be an overdose, or if it collided with a tree and perished.

Given the antics of this bird, all seem perfectly likely possibilities.

Personally,  I was just glad that peace was finally restored at the plantation.

Gary Springer
www.realbirdhomes.com


From: "Phil Berry" mrtony8"at"home.com
To: dsheldonjr"at"hotmail.com, "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: FOR SALE
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2002 08:26:56 -0600

TO THE EVER FAITHFUL AMONGST YOU: Be it known that I would sell my soul for a year round pair of Mockingbirds on our 30 acres here in north central Ohio. Bluebirds...or no bluebirds...mockingbirds have to be the most enchanting avian creature ever invented

I agree totally! I have a resident pair here on our property and they are cool birds. One (or both,m how can I tell?) come to my back window every morning in winter to see what we are doing. My parrot has her cage by the window and she looks forward to seeing him (or her?) every morning while eating breakfast. They can be a little tough on the bluebirds, but so far they get along.

Phil Berry
Gulf Breeze, Florida


From: "Phil Berry" mrtony8"at"home.com
To: femad"at"comcast.net, "BLUEBIRD-L" BLUEBIRD-L"at"cornell.edu
Subject: Re: FOR SALE
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2002 08:29:07 -0600

Sometimes in the Summer, for reasons I am not sure of, one of them will stay up all night singing, what lovely tunes... and amazing repertoire!

Mockers (male) sing starting in spring, at night, and run all summer EXCEPT during dog days. The way you calculate dog days is to listen to the nights they do NOT sing. Once dog days are over, they start up again.

Phil Berry
Gulf Breeze, Florida


Bluebirds and Mockingbirds Part 2


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