It’s hard for me to understand that some people consider the Northern Mockingbird as a nuisance bird, for others as being too aggressive, a bully, etc. If you were to ask me then I’d say that I am very satisfied to have them in my backyard… always!
You may ask, why? It is because after observing them for a number of years, I always come to the conclusion that I’m lucky to have them as guardians of law and order in my backyard.
I have seen them in many occasions defend and save the lives of small birds from falling victims of larger predators. I can see quite often when a group of birds, not local come and create commotion at the feeders spooking the local birds. Not long after you can see the Northern Mockingbirds diving down on them and starting a chase. They do keep order and keep the avian area safe.
I do not doubt that are very zealous of their territory where they usually nest but get in a defensive mode when strangers (humans) get too close to their babies. No matter the size of the stranger they will ensue a confrontation, which I can’t blame the birds for acting defensible. I used the word “stranger” because mockingbirds have excellent memory and recognize features of previous enemies or friends. That might explain the reason why they have never attacked me even when I’ve been about 2 feet from their nest or every morning when I refill the feeders, in fact I had them already eating near me at my arm length.
I have tried to invite them to eat from my hand by they get close to me and then suddenly change their mind and turn around. I don’t mind, they help me a lot already!
Text and photographs © HJ Ruiz – Avian101