Celebrate Wildlife that Fly

Birds, bats, bees, butterflies, dragonflies and all the other critters that fly are the focus of the National Wildlife Federation’s Wildlife Week celebrations today. As I stated in yesterday’s post, I have long had a love of birds that I think started in a Golden Book of Birds that I treasured as a child. I promised to highlight a bird in todays post and this morning I was greeted by a Mocking Bird at my Pyrocanthus bush during my daily ritual to sit outside with my coffee.

Mimus polyglottos, from the family Mimids, Mockingbirds live up to their names, all of them. Mimids are birds that are capable of mimicking other birds. Polyglotus means many tongued. Mockingbirds can learn a wide variety of vocalizations of things that they hear in their territories. They are showoffs and will make themselves known in the area, hopping on fences, taking a position in the top branches of a tree and singing their repertoire of songs. Mockingbirds can continue to learn new songs throughout their lives. They are also very territorial and will defend it and harass other birds that intrude on it.

Mockingbirds don’t visit feeders often but are attracted by fruit trees and berry bushes like my Pyrocanthus. Other berries they like are mulberries, hawthorns, blackberries and, down in South Texas the Yaupon Holly, among others. If you don’t have fruiting plants in your garden you can put out fruit such as oranges for them and they will come. During the spring and summer the ¬†Mockingbird’s diet staple are insects.

I planted my Pyrocanthus about 4 years ago because the nursery promised that the birds like the berries. This was the first year that I have seen any berry loving, including the cardinal that frequented my yard last year, on that bush I welcomed the company of this guy this morning.

For more on Mockingbirds you can check the Cornell Lab of Ornithology where you can see pictures and hear some of the vocalizations.

For a downloadable poster about Wildlife that Fly click the link to the National Wildlife Federation’s page.

Tomorrow, Wildlife that Climb and Dig.

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