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Sunday, May 31, 2009
The Mockingbirds

By Laura Doering
Join in on Laura's fun and experiences of bird ownership, and share in her adventures as the editor of BIRD TALK, the world’s most widely read pet bird magazine, in Wayward Feathers.

I’m enthralled with mockingbirds lately. I just saw one swoop down on a cat that was cowering on my backyard fence.  This hapless kitty was meowing in protest as the little mockingbird came in close enough to grab some fur on his backside, circle above him and then swoop back down. The cat was so caught off guard. No doubt he strayed a little too close to the mockingbird’s nest.

Yesterday morning, I heard screeching coming from the front yard. I swear it sounded just like a baby cockatiel letting the world know it was ready to be fed. (You know, that grating, “I’m not going away until I get some yummy warm food down my crop!” prehistoric screech). But it was another mockingbird. Perhaps it was a young, hungry mockingbird? No. It was an angry mockingbird and its anger was directed at a crow, which he soon chased off.

Amazing feats when you consider the size differences and you’d think a bird attacking a cat would have some sort of death wish, but the mockingbird was the victor in both standoffs.

My freshman year in college, I too infringed upon a mockingbird's personal space. On may way to class I felt a thump on the back of my head, First thought was that someone threw a tennis ball at me. Then I was hit again, and yet again as I scampered away, completely dumbfounded. The next day, same time, same place … same thing. I changed my route.

Of course, parrots can be territorial, too. How many of us have been hissed out, lunged at or even nailed when we’ve strayed too close to our hormonal and territorial bird’s cage?   

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