Mockingbird Family Matters

Let’s just have a little nature story, shall we? Why not?

The past month or so we’ve had a family of mockingbirds working on raising a family. Every time we went in or out of the Hermit Haus office, an angry bird or two would fly by and make that mockingbird screech of warning. I never found the nest, but I know it was really nearby and that they spent a LOT of time in the lantana bed.

I can fly! Just not very far, so please bring me a bug.

I also got to watch one of the adult birds using the pipe where the air conditioning condensation comes out as a water dispenser. I wish I’d gotten a picture! I should put a bird bath under there or something.

Last week the little ones fledged, and they certainly are not afraid of us humans who they’ve grown up with. I had the best time last week watching one of them on its first day out, still with a little topknot of baby feathers.

I love these flowers.

Today I came in to work for the first time in a few days, and heard all sorts of peeping, even from inside the building. A while later I had to take a phone call in the driveway. When I went out, there, peeping continued. I watched an adolescent bird flail away and make it on top of one of the air conditioner units. Then it gathered ALL its courage and jumped to the OTHER one! It seemed proud.

I can see farther thanks to these convenient steps.

After a little flapping it calmed down and opened its mouth. In flew one of the parents, who stuffed some kind of bug down its little gullet. When I looked over by the lantana bed, I saw the rest of the family had gathered. There were both parents and three babies, who are just about the same size as the parents, but still have little streaks on their chests.

The parents are on the left, and the babies are on the right.

I sure enjoyed their antics as they munched on berries and flopped around. I’m hoping that the house finches who have built another nest in the carport area manage to get babies this time. Between these guys and the swallows at the Pope house, I have had a great baby bird year.

Getting ready to chow down on lantana.

Tell you what, watching birds raise their young is a wonderful way to remember that you are part of a much larger world of nature that doesn’t give a darn about what country they are in or what diseases are afflicting humans.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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