I am posting early and probably will not post tomorrow. We will have a tropical storm or hopefully not, a hurricane around. I live in Central Florida on the very Southern edge of where this storm from the Gulf of Mexico is expected to pass over Florida. I do not expect trouble but our Internet service sometimes goes out in bad weather so I wanted to let you know why I am posting early.
I hope you will enjoy seeing this pair of Northern Mockingbirds that live here on my street and mostly in a nearby neighbor’s yard. For awhile, I had hoped they would nest in my bushes but alas they did not. The pair chose the neighbors shrubbery instead. These birds are clever mimics and here love to confuse the residents with their sweet sounds of Northern Cardinals, and even Palm Warblers. Ha! Both birds of this pair, also do enjoy perching on the corner street sign. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. As ever, enjoy! I doubt we will have a rough go during the storm. Everything should be just fine and I will post again on Wed. as usual.
House Finches, Morning Doves, Northern Mockingbirds, White Ibises, a Carolina Wren, and a male Northern Cardinal were all spotted in the past few days here on my street or in my yard. A neighbor has a very popular bird feeder that is patronized by many of the birds I saw this week!
The White Ibis flock casually strolls the neighborhood’s streets in search of tasty bites of worms, insects and the like. The Ibises are not here every day but do come by several times a month. One of the ibises sure had a vividly red face, legs and feet, didn’t it? We delight in seeing them! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. As ever, enjoy!
House Finch male
Northern Cardinal male
A pair of Northern Mockingbirds has decided to build their new nest in one of the local shrubs. I love hearing the two sing! Such melodies they have. The two have been collecting grasses, sticks and soft tender plants to line the new nest. I think they will be laying eggs soon. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version of that photo. Enjoy!
Male Eastern Bluebird
We went to what we thought was a Burrowing Owl Preserve here in our area a few days ago. We heard from a resident who lives next to the preserve, that due to the presence of Coyotes, the owls had left that large field preserve area a few years ago. I did spot a trio of songbirds and surprisingly, a small Black Racer Snake, which is non-poisonous.
The Eastern Bluebirds cheerfully sat on the wooden fence surrounding the large field that had been the home of the owls (supposedly now it is home to Gopher Tortoises which we did not see). After the Eastern Bluebirds left, a Northern Mockingbird took their place on the fence. I also spotted an Eastern Blue Jay in the trees next to the fence but there were too many leaves in the way of my shot to get a good picture. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Female Eastern Bluebird
The “Surprise”! A Black Racer Snake
A Northern Mockingbird
Male Northern Cardinal
A male Northern Cardinal, a young Eastern Blue Jay and a Northern Mockingbird all were spotted in my front yard yesterday afternoon. It was blazing hot and some of the birds are likely now starting to molt. At least that is the way they look to me.
Molting is when the birds change feathers from breeding to non-breeding colors. It is nature’s way of taking care of older feathers, which drop out and are replaced by fresh young ones. The birds do not feel very well during this time. It is especially hard now because of our hot rainy weather.
That Blue Jay is likely just a recently-fledged juvenile and is probably not in molt. The poor bird was really hot! I took these photographs on August 9, 2015 at about 4:30 PM Eastern Time. The temperature was about 91 degrees F. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture. Enjoy!
Male Northern Cardinal
Older Juvenile Eastern Blue Jay
The Northern Mockingbirds have arrived here in recent weeks. Nature’s master mimics love to sing a huge number of convincing songs. These birds can learn the calls and songs of the birds around them. They are quite convincing and I have been fooled several times. The Mockingbirds are smaller mid-sized birds, that are nearly as large as the Blue Jays.
Mockingbirds eat insects, fruits, and nuts. They can be argumentative with other birds at times. I often see Mockingbirds up on the top of stop signs or light poles. They seem to like viewing the vicinity and scouting for other birds and for food. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Northern Cardinal Male
Grey Squirrel and Common Crow
I took these pictures in my community in the last two weeks. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Red-Eared Sliding Turtle
Cattle Egrets with Brahman Steer
The Northern Mockingbirds were here in the yard last evening when I took these pictures. I have used photo-editing software to lighten the pictures up so you can really see what the mischief-making mockingbirds actually look like. Northern Mockingbirds are a light grey with darker grey, black, and white bars on their wings. They have a pointed bill and are on the smaller side of being a medium-sized bird.
The Northern Mockingbird is a master at fooling people and other critters with a strong and varied repertoire of bird calls and other noises that they have learned. They are master mimics. I got fooled yet again by this pair who were sounding very much like an American Robin (yes an American Robin had been around earlier). Both of the pair were singing and calling to each other so it was double confusion until I figured out the true identity of the birds making the calls. The Northern Mockingbird eats insects, fruits, and berries. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
A Northern Mockingbird was here on August 4, 2012 in the yards. It was very entertaining to see this musical noisy bird. The Mockingbird interacted with the Red-headed Woodpecker as I mentioned in yesterday’s post. it also perched on the electric line in front of the house for a long time. It sang many songs reflecting its intelligence and age. These birds learn to mimic the songs and calls of many birds in their environment. The Mockingbirds eat insects, seeds, and nuts. They are smaller medium-sized birds with grey and brown and black coloring. I don’t see the Northern Mockingbird very often but do enjoy their antics a lot! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
The Northern Mockingbird has been a great mimic of Red-headed Woodpecker here. I have been fooled a few times thinking I was hearing a Red-headed Woodpecker or a Red-bellied Woodpecker or even a Northern Yellow-shafted Flicker Woodpecker! Now I know why. Oh the Woodpecker and the Mockingbird should be friends (to paraphrase and borrow from the great musical play, “Oklahoma” by Rogers and Hammerstein). Ha!
I was out with the camera on Sunday, August 5, 2012 and saw this juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker up on the dead top of one of the Oak Trees next to the pond here. There also was a Northern Mockingbird up near the Woodpecker. Both seemed busy working on finding insects in the tree. I think that the youngster just was inexperienced and did not mind the presence of that Mockingbird. My guess anyway. Note that the juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker actually has a dark brown head. They do not get that scarlet red color until adulthood. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!