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NEWS FLASH:
I NOW HAVE A BOOK PUBLISHED


Titled Wings Over My Texas
Description excerpt: A non-scientific photographic study of over 200 birds, common, rare, and vagrant birds, along the Coastal Bend of South Texas. Areas include Corpus Christi, Port A...
check out the book details on this linked site!!



Thursday, June 11th, 2009
12:58 A.M.










This photo on the right is borrowed from Google Images; A MOCKINGBIRD









One of our two crepe myrtle bushes is in bloom. The deep pink one. I've been watching it since it started leafing out a little over a month ago, and it's gone wild this year. What I mean is, the branches are tall and quite spindly and the blossoms are making them top heavy and 'droopy'. [I think it's the drought] It'll have to be trimmed back again this year to keep it more compact.

But, in the pink bush, there is another treat....something I have been watching also. 'Long about 3 weeks ago, two mockingbirds started making a home. I've watched the rituals of mating...listened to his calls, his most beautiful love songs!! Once the nest was built and the mama bird kept the eggs warm nearly all 24 hours [the daddy would give her a break now and then], I didn't want to disturb them with my camera. Then, the other day, while I was out photographing one of the huge blossom clusters of the crepe myrtle, I spied a little tiny yellow beak stretching above the twigs! I went back into the garage, behind closed doors, and stood on a stool looking out the window, to continue my vigilance on finding out how many. THREE.

Now, the mamas and the papas are not too friendly when you try and walk up to view. Screeching, wing fluttering, swooping down on ya...things like that. But blogging got the best of me. Not only did I want to share a photo of the bush, I wanted a photo of the nest. And if I was lucky enough, the chicks too.

1] I had to get past the sentinels first. [look closer!]



2] This is what I saw standing on the driveway looking toward the nest [see the beak?]...



3] Very quickly I reached through the branches and aimed the shutter to the upper nest, looking down into their home... the camera captured this [photo has been cropped]...



4] Then, another of the three of them began to climb...from within the nest, to the outer ridge. With the macro lens set, I clicked this from a distance of about 5 feet, then cropped the image...



5] For an instant only, they settled back down...but all still too large to remain in the nest for long...



6] With continual chattering from the parents, I got a bit ansy that I was disturbing too good a thing, snapped this one, and left...



- - -

7] Most mockingbirds are able to master 180 songs easily, and their repertoire increases with age.

8] The mockingbird is Texas's state bird.

9] The male mockingbird does most of the singing, especially during the mating season when he uses his whole songbook of medleys to lure a mate. He sings throughout the night, especially during a full moon. [I've lain in bed many times listening to the wonderful refrains and lullabies, singing me to sleep!]

10] Mockingbirds can mimic squirrels, frogs, crickets, sirens, bells and even a rusty gate! They also sing at great length in phrases that are pure mockingbird and nothing else. Occasionally they bound several feet up from their perch then descend back in place, all the while not missing a note.

11] One famed bird joined the National Symphony Orchestra during an outdoor concert in Washington, D.C. He imitated the flute which imitated the bird calls in Peter and the Wolf!!!

12] Intensely territorial, the mockingbird stands ready to attack any creature that invades his domain, especially his own kind. Mockingbirds generally do not migrate, living twelve years or longer as permanent residents.

13] Fruits and berries make up half their diet, with the balance consisting of insects and other small animals.


BONUS:

Click on the image below for a special song from a mocking bird [also video]



35 comments :

  1. Wow, how lucky is that! Great camera work Anni... you'll break a leg one of these days!
    A beautiful bird to have in your garden. I watched the video of the singing, they make all different songs, no wonder they are called Mockingbirds.
    Great post.
    Love Granny

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  2. Oh my gosh, the photos are great. But then again they always are :)

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  3. Thanks for taking your life in your hands to get those pictures! What a cool bird. I liked hearing the song too!

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  4. Such beauty my friend.

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  5. You becareful climbing on to a stool Anni were not getting any younger. Beautiful photo's I think I spyed 2 of them in the crepe Myrtle near one of the blooms, I listened to the twitting of the mockingbird singing Iii would like them to perch in my crepe myrtle and sing all day..

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  6. I love that close-up photo! And I now know a lot more than I did about Mockingbirds :) Happy TT and thanks for the visit :)

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  7. Amazing...those pictures are breathtaking. Thanks for popping by to see my T13!!

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  8. Fantastic - thanks for such a treat this morning. I don't know that I've heard a mockingbird - but how can you tell, if they're always mocking something, eh??? The birds were really giving us a concert this morning. I love it.

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  9. Anni, your link isn't showing up on the Mister Linky list -- at least not that I could see anywhere.

    My sister, who lives in South East Texas, has mockingbirds all over her backyard. Those guys can get quite aggressive, and they dive-bomb her dogs all the time. I love to sit on the back porch and watch them do it, too, LOL!

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  10. What a wonderful love story :)

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  11. oh, you're so fortunate to have them nesting with you! they obviously feel the good vibes from your home... they're amazing little creatures with your 13 facts there...

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  12. How lucky you were to get so close to the nest ! I think I have never seen this bird, and now my cats got crazy when I clicked on the video and the bird started singing, hahaha ! they are looking everywhere now !

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  13. Glad you still have your eyes -- I know the parents can be vicious. You should go out and whistle while they are around. My folks used to have a mocking bird living in a tree they had and they learned to whistle just like my daddy. It was a *hoot* to hear that bird sounding like Daddy. :)

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  14. Try as I might, I can't seem to see the beak.

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  15. I'm really surprised the parents let you in so close. They are great photos, Anni.

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  16. I had phoebe's in my porch rafter. They made a mess with their droppings all over the porch (poop deck). I think I've seen mockingbirds in my yard too. I can hear Carly Simon singing the Mockingbird song.

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  17. Ohhhhhh aren't they WONDERFUL! You're as bad as I am! I probably would have been on a ladder IN that tree trying to get photos! LOL! If they would just come out and POSE for us we would get it over with quickly and be GONE! Don't they understand that??? You did GREAT Anni!

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  18. What a nice experience in nature you had!

    I TT'd about a bird too - the Twitter bird and how sometimes it's tweeting bugs me, lol. Thanks for stopping by!

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  19. Anni
    That was a great treat this morning listening to the birds. Thanks for info on them also.
    We like to sit out and listen to the bobwhites calling back and forth.
    Natural is so beautiful if we just take the time to enjoy.
    God Bless.

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  20. What beautiful shots of the babies you got! Well done :-)

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  21. Fascinating creatures. We have plenty of robins and cardinals around here, but I've never seen (or heard) a mockingbird.

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  22. Wow that's a lot of facts about mockingbirds, I remember one year when I was growing up our road was being re-paved & they closed it (I believe there were sewer line issues too) we had a lot more birds & animals around that summer & my father discovered we had a mockingbird around & spent much of his summer teaching it songs.

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  23. Such an amazing bird! I've never seen or heard a Mockingbird before so this was quite the treat listening to the video. I always thought Mockingbirds were big black birds, similar to a Raven...how wrong could I be! lol How wonderful that you were able to take those terrific shots of the babies. What we do for the sake of blogging! LOL xoxo

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  24. Hi Anni,

    I enjoyed the pictures you have taken to share with everyone today. I loved the song from the Mockingbird. You are really good with a camera.

    Anni, I want to ask you which search engine you use? I use firefox, but when I access certain blogs internet explorer takes over and makes that blog not work right. Do you know why this is happening?

    Consider it a compliment to you that I ask you this, as I think you are so smart when it comes to computers and blogging. You make me feel inferior a lot of the time, ha. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me on this.

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  25. Betty I'm wondering if you have Firefox set for the default browser? I'll pop in to your blog. Gimme a sec...

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  26. Thanks for including the YouTube. Although I've heard of mockingbirds I had no idea what they looked or sounded like. :)

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  27. What a GREAT post! We have Mockingbirds here too but I have never been lucky enough to see one that close and babies to boot!! The You Tube was great too, I love listening to them. Again, great post!

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  28. The instructions you gave me concerning firefox and IE worked.

    Thanks for your help, Anni.

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  29. What a gorgeous shot and at such close range ! Fantastic!


    ~Silver
    Reflections/
    One Day at a Time with Silver

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  30. Wonderful photos...you have a very sharp eye! Such sweet baby birds!

    I hope you have a GREAT weekend!
    hugs,
    Robin

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  31. Anni,

    I'm sure it took a lot of stealth to get that close to the nest. I'm surprised they didn't dive bomb you.

    I had never seen a mockingbird until we were in Arkansas in 2005. They were singing in the trees outside our motel room and the owner happened to come by. I asked her what kind they were and she told me.

    Ruth from Body, Soul and Spirit saw a Mockingbird here in Ontario this spring. I didn't know we had them. Earlier this year when I took Dakota out for his nightly business, I was hearing a bird call and now I know it was a mockingbird from listening to the video.

    Lovely visitors to your yard, my friend. And a awesome post.

    Blessings,
    Mary

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  32. Well - judging from your very educational post I would say you were lucky not to get mauled by the parents. Thanks for braving potential injury for us all to share your photos. I like your new header too!

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  33. Oh, I love this post! I had a mockingbird outside my window earlier this spring and he sang alllll night long. I recorded it and have it posted on my sidebar. :-) Those pics of the babies are just adorable! :-) Susan

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  34. #11 totally wowed me. And your photos are great!

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