While I was sitting at my desk, a Northern Mockingbird landed on the lights that I have strung across my office patio. I had never seen that before. I have observed Mockingbirds in nearly every corner of the property. During the summer season, they fool me quite often with their melodies that mimic other species. But, I had never seen one come that up-close-and-personal to the house.
House Finches, White-crowned Sparrows, House Sparrows, Goldfinches and less frequently a few other species use the feeders I have on the patio both during summer and winter. But, like I’ve said before, I get the feeling that we have “country birds” here. Unlike “city birds” that are well acclimated to people and their goings-on, the birds ’round these parts prefer to do business farther away from the house. And, that’s why we put up two different platform feeders “out there.”
Apparently, Ms. Mockingbird who showed up just outside my office, had an agenda. She hung on that thin wire, swaying forward and backwards – maintaining her balance by flicking that exceedingly long tail – and stared through the french doors right into my eyes. It was as if she was checking in. “Do you plan to come and fill the feeders? I’m hungry for a few peanuts. But, it would be even better if you could bring some fresh fruit!”
I finished up the project I was working on, replenished my containers of seeds & nuts and grabbed the purple grapes out of the fridge. I donned a thick winter coat, pulled my hat down over my ears, loaded up the golf cart and drove out to the feeder at Pond Meadow. Ms. M was right. Things were a bit sparse. Then, I took a drive around the property to see what I might encounter out of the ordinary before traveling down to the Lower Pond feeder which I replenished, including the coveted purple grapes.
It didn’t take but ten minutes and a Mockingbird showed up to accept the meal I offered. I’m so happy she came a’ knocking to my office door. If she hadn’t reminded me, I would have forgotten the grapes, I’m sure.
I’ve seen it before, but it amazes me that the bird can swallow a peanut – whole!
After what looked like (but probably wasn’t) a burp, she went for the fruit. Gotta wash that nut down with some juicy grapes. When stabbing at the grape, it appears like the bird takes advantage of a third eyelid a for of protection. I looked it up. It is called a nictitating membrane.
This mockingbird left and returned again two additional times in the thirty minutes I was at the feeder. It snatched up a few other peanuts and seeds, but mostly seemed to enjoy the fruit.
White the Northern Mockingbird can appear quite fierce – perhaps that’s an artifact of it’s light colored eyes and fairly long bill – it can also don a very peaceful expression, especially when it is in some sort of cover. This is an intelligent species and can tolerate my close proximity fairly well, even when it’s not at the feeders. I whole-heatedly enjoy knowing the Northern Mockingbird.