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Northern Mockingbirds: Aggressive Defenders of Nest & Young

5-31-17 n. mockingbird 081

Besides being known for their vocal repertoire, Northern Mockingbirds are famous for pugnacious defense of their territory, nest, and young. Even more than most songbirds, Northern Mockingbirds aggressively stand guard over their nestlings as well as their young fledglings. Potential predators risk being mobbed and chased by nesting mockingbirds. While the female incubates, the male spends most of his time perched high on trees or rooftops, acting as a sentinel, and will chase away any animal (including humans) that approaches the nest. Northern Mockingbirds have also been known to join forces with other birds, including cardinals, thrashers and doves, to chase away potential nest predators.

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7 responses

  1. Many years ago, I was walking through an urban park in Chicago where the path ran along a row of hedges. I was not alone; there were others walking in the same area. Without warning, I was zapped from behind by a Mocker! After figuring out what had happened, I stopped and watched for another little while. Anyone else who walked near that spot also got zapped. I assumed there was a nest nearby. Don’t mess with Mockers!

    May 30, 2017 at 9:15 am

  2. Mary Rubel

    Wish I could contribute to this wonderful notice, as I have in the past, but when I press ” Donate ” it doesn’t work. How may I do it? Your devoted reader – Mary Rubel, a computer illiterate person

    On Tue, May 30, 2017 at 9:01 AM, Naturally Curious with Mary Holland wrote:

    > Mary Holland posted: ” Besides being known for their vocal repertoire, > Northern Mockingbirds are famous for pugnacious defense of their territory, > nest, and young. Even more than most songbirds, Northern Mockingbirds > aggressively stand guard over their nestlings as well as th” >

    May 30, 2017 at 10:09 am

    • Hi Mary,
      I’m so sorry you’re having problems with my site. I will email you my mailing address. Hopefully others will notify me if they’re having this problem, too. Thank you for bringing it to my attention!

      May 30, 2017 at 10:36 am

  3. In North Carolina (RDU) at the moment and a Red-shouldered Hawk landed on a post in the yard only to be promptly dive-bombed by the resident Mocker until the Hawk gave up and departed to a more peaceful location.

    May 30, 2017 at 10:21 am

  4. Alice Pratt

    Parental Bird Teamwork!

    May 30, 2017 at 11:27 am

  5. I love mockingbirds for their amazing athleticism, song repertoire, intelligence, and their spunk. I once had a cat that a pair of mockers teamed up on — one dove at the cat from the rear, and the other would wait until the cat turned to defend himself and attack while the cat was distracted. The poor cat would hide under the car to get away from them!

    May 30, 2017 at 2:55 pm

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