My front yard Mockingbird

A personal note: We moved into new digs last month, and my 2nd floor office overlooks the neighborhood to the west. I love all things outdoors, so it makes for a nice environment in which to write.

One of the neighbors, I discovered, is a Mockingbird who vigorously protects his winter food supply of red berries from the Dogwood tree in our front yard. It’s our state bird here in Tennessee (and Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas), so we all know of this behavior.

Several times a day, hundreds of Starlings descend on the tree to gobble up the berries, but the Mockingbird will have none of that. This single bird will attack the flock with a tenacity that has to be seen to be appreciated. The white markings on his wings and tail make him appear much bigger that he really is, and the combination of appearance and behavior drive the hungry blackbirds away. He moves so fast that it’s difficult to capture on film, but here’s my best effort:

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