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Old 07-02-2002, 09:33 AM
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Aggressive Wild Mockingbirds

I had to do a little research to find out what kind of bird has me on pins and needles now every time that I go out of my house. It turns out it is a Northern Mockingbird. Apparently this type of bird is very territorial and becomes aggressive during mating season which is March-August. That is wonderful news considering it has already dive bombed my husband, a neighbor, and also myself. It has me scared to death to be out in my yard and I am afraid it is going to attack my daughter as well.

Has anyone had any experiences with this type of bird or know how to keep them away from my yard? I learned that it is the state bird of Texas, so I don't know if the populations are greater there. I would hate to have to continue through the rest of the summer worrying about attack birds!!
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Old 07-08-2002, 11:20 AM
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we get the same thing here...a type of swallow that blitz's you...i started taking a tennis racquet with me everytime i went outside

however, the only thing we found successful was to watch for where they are buiding their nests and keep knocking them down until they immigrate to someone else's house

carol
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Old 07-08-2002, 09:22 PM
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That's a Mockingbird for you. It is late enough in the season that they are protecting the babies if not fledglings. They are very protective and fearless. I have seen on the national news where videos have been shot showing this plucky bird diving at cats, dogs, and people. It shouldn't be too much longer until your free to go out without having to worry about having your hair pulled. Do look for the nest. They tend to favor nesting in the same area the next year. These mimics are noisy too. Watch for them atop telephone poles and the tops of trees. He'll fly up and down in full throated song telling others this is his territory. Good luck!
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Old 07-12-2002, 05:54 AM
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One of my newsletter subscribers saw this and sent it. I am posting it for her:

VALUE / IMPORTANCE TO HUMANS
Mockingbirds are natural pest controllers, consuming large quantities of beetles, ants, wasps, and grasshoppers. By eating a variety of berries and other fruits, they also assist plants by dispersing seeds. And their beautiful singing is an invaluable accompaniment to suburban life in South Florida.

CAUSES OF ENDANGERMENT
The mockingbird flourishes in developed, suburban areas, because of its fondness of mowed lawns. It also thrives in land developed for agriculture, as fruit is a favorite part of the mockingbird diet.

NUISANCE PROBLEMS
Mockingbirds are extremely territorial and become defensive against potential predators. If you or your child or pet approaches a nest, either knowingly or otherwise, the mockingbird will defend its nest by swooping and chasing the intruder. No known harm has resulted in attacks from mockingbirds. This behavior is temporary and will only continue for as long as there are hatchlings in the nest (about two weeks). It is best to avoid the nesting area during this short period. As a songbird it is protected by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and cannot be physically harmed, nor can the habitat be molested in any way.
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Old 07-12-2002, 06:32 AM
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Thanks for everyone's replies. I really hope that the hatchlings leave soon. I haven't been brave enough to see where the nest actually is, so I'm not even sure how close I get to it. There are two trees in my front yard and several bushes, so it could be anywhere. I get so nervous in the morning when I leave for work and have my daughter with me. I see "him" every morning and I just know he's waiting to attack!! He perches himself on a light pole and fusses at me. It's kind of funny because before we go out the door, I tell my 22 month old daughter "Let mommy carry you out" and she says "OK, birds mean".
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Old 07-13-2002, 01:34 PM
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"The bird is not mean... it is protecting its babies just like I am protecting you..." is a good response.
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Old 07-22-2002, 08:11 AM
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Mockingbirds


Jennz:

Mockingbirds as you are finding out are very territorial. very protective of their nests and if you listen to their song you will hear they mimic every other bird in your area and add other sounds - like a lawnmower - crickets, etc. to their list. We also found that some starlings with bright red eyes circled in yellow would also attack during nesting time.

The only thing I know that got even with the mockingbirds was a cat I had who for years was always being chased when she went out the kitchen door which is on the side of my cape cod house. Their nest was on the far side out front in a shrub planted by the driveway (we learned to look for them when we walked to the front door). Anyhow Callie would sit in the window overlooking the shrub where the nest was. You guessed it - they dive-bombed the window - Callie became a "Cheshire Cat".

Thanks heavens my other birds did not dive bomb or I think I would have been looking for a scarecrow.
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Old 07-22-2002, 09:28 AM
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Red Cardinals

I have been bothered for the last couple of years with Red Cardinals. They bang on the windows from morning to night time. He knows the sound of my Computer when I put it on. That stars him off. lol If your car is out side they bang on your mirrors. I do not know how the windows do not crack, they leave blood from their beaks. Had to cut all my beautiful bushes that were under the windows. Now at least I am getting some peace.
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Old 07-22-2002, 07:37 PM
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We have quite a few black birds that like to hang together. The English Starling is black with white specks on its feathers. There are slightly larger black birds where the males have yellow eyes and the feathers on their heads reflect an iridescent blue/green/purple: the Common and Great-tailed Grackle but the Boat-tailed Grackle has a dark, possibly red, eye. Female Grackles look like brown headed Cowbirds. You will also find Redwings and real Cowbirds with them.
By chance you didn't feed them sunflower seeds during the winter ? or does anyone around have sunflowers in their yard close to you ? They are similar to Mockingbirds in how they defend their territory. . .
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