Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mockingbird battle

This time of year many birds are marking and defending territory for breeding. They pick out what they think is the best location and defend it by song and sometimes by battle. The Northern Mockingbird, Minus polyglottos, has a reputation for being very territorial. When I used to do a lot of birding I would notice that often a Mockingbird would follow us around at a location, fussing at us until we left. Saturday I was visiting a friend's farm for another project and I couldn't help noticing this pair fighting. Actually there were about 5 on the farm but these two were really going at it. Below are some of the photos I took.  For a larger view click on each photo.


Cornell Lab of Ornithology had this to say. “Males disputing territory boundaries fly toward each other, land near the boundary, and face off, silently hopping from one side to another.”




“If neither bird retreats, they may fly at each other, ... 


... grappling with wings and claws and pecking at each other.”



“Eventually, one bird retreats and the other chases it a short ways.”


While I was in the area they had several fights over the prime location. 
I think they were fighting over who owned the flower garden.


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12 comments:

Sylvia K said...

What an interesting post and fantastic photos! They are territorial little guys aren't they? Really enjoyed this! Have a great week and don't trespass on the Mockingbirds!!!

Sylvia

Roger Owen Green said...

All we are saying is give peace a chance, birds!

Actually the FIRST song that came to mind is that title song by James Taylor and Carly Simon.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Denise said...

I've never seen anything like this before, reminds me of those rams butting heads together on the tv ;) Super photos!

Leslie: said...

Wow! What a fascinating visual story of war! Amazing and lucky you to have been able to capture it all. :D

Wanda said...

Well this was a great show in pictures... what a sequence!

Very clever M.

photowannabe said...

Fascinating action pictures. that is quite a fight.

Woodswalker said...

Pugnacious critters, without a doubt! You should have seen how they went after my cat, when they built a nest on our porch.

Gaelyn said...

Wow! What great captures of this face off. They gave a marvelous show.

Gattina said...

You catched the right moment ! Looks as if they were dancing and not fighting. Gattina from the ABC Team

dragonfly said...

Last year we had a mockingbird nest in our trees, passerbys were often dive bombed when they were nesting!

http://www.gardenersreach.com/post/M-is-for-Mallard.aspx

Grace and Bradley said...

Amazing photos, can not imagine they can be so aggressive. I saw once myna fighting even inside avery. I almost posted the photo for this round.

jay said...

Wow, you got some GREAT shots!! I can almost hear those wings fluttering as they battle!

BTW, my site is back up now, if you tried earlier and failed. ;)