Friday, May 4, 2012

You Can Take The Hound Out Of The Hunt, But ...

Baby Mockingbirds 

The Northern Mockingbird is the state bird of Texas.  I took this picture of two fledgling mockingbirds as they were getting old enough to hop from the nest.

When they first started leaving the nest and ended up on the ground, I kept picking them up and returning them to safety after my dogs found one and almost caused an untimely end.  Just goes to show, you can take the hound out of the hunt but you can't take the hunt out of the hound.

Eventually  I realized I couldn't keep them safe in the nest because they were trying to learn to fly and couldn't accomplish that feat unless they had a running start out in the open, which is a very dangerous place to be when one is a baby bird.  I've noticed it takes the fledglings several days out of the nest to learn to fly up to the taller boughs of nearby trees, all the while they make a little bird call for their parents because they are still too young to capture food for themselves.  The parents continue bringing them food as well as keeping an eye on them in case predators or danger is in the area.

I heard an adult mockingbird make the most precious, calming sound to one of her babies the other day while I was nearby - it was kind of a trill of notes unlike any other sound I've heard a mockingbird make before and I knew the parent was trying to make sure the baby stayed quiet.

Right this very moment I have two sets of adult mockingbirds trying to raise more babies in my backyard.  One set is in my old man's beard vine and another in my sapling live oak tree.
Mockingbirds mimic 50 other bird's songs. They have also been known to imitate other sounds they hear such as rusty hinges, whistling, cackling hens, and dogs barking so expertly that even an electronic analysis could not tell the difference between the mockingbird and the original. Scientists have found that female mockingbirds are attracted to males that can make the most different sounds.

1 comment:

  1. Cute babies. I hope they learn to fly quickly! It's fun to watch them, isn't it? Hugs, Mom