Where have all the mockingbirds gone?

Since we bought our property 35 years ago the main bird resident has always been the mockingbird. What a bird it is! It’s personality is aggressive, loud, noisy, dangerous to humans when nesting, and totally king of its domain.

Being mere humans we have had to put up with its constant singing, aggressiveness, and bravado for a long time. The mockingbirds allow no insect-eating birds to build nests anywhere near their own nests. Early on, we’ve had beautiful bluebirds build nests in our bluebird boxes. They are small, shy, and definitely don’t have a dominant personality. I believe they lasted maybe two days in their boxes with the mockingbirds constantly dive-bombing them whenever they came out of the boxes. The bluebirds decided our property wasn’t safe for raising their children and moved on. What a shame for us.

We feed birds year-round. We especially enjoy watching the cardinals bring their offspring to our feeder, showing them how to crack open and enjoy the sunflower seeds we provide them. We’ve watched many birds, including chickadees and tufted titmice, do the same.

Since last year things are different. There are no mockingbirds in our immediate area. The mornings are quiet without their warbling. Actually, we’ve heard them warble in the  middle of the night in early spring. Last year I didn’t actually notice their disappearance even though they were not here. This year, though, I have noticed the lack of mockingbirds.

Now we have cardinals making nests on our property for the first time in 35 years. What a great joy that is. They are building nests in our hemlock hedge and in our clematis trellis next to the house. We’re getting smaller birds, too, nesting in the burning bush and the hemlocks. It’s wonderful to know that these birds feel comfortable enough to build their nests here.

What a relief that we will not have to worry about being divebombed anymore by mockingbirds as they protect their babies in the nests. They have sharp beaks!

Another thought has struck, though. Why aren’t the mockingbirds here? What happened to drive them away? Did all of the mockingbirds die or did they just move on to other areas? I wonder. 

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4 Comments »

  1. Isabella Miram said

    I have had so many .. living here since 1963 .. and what a joy it was to have these Mockingbirds keep me awake at night .. I truly miss them …what did happen? Bees are dying too .. I am very sad.

  2. Khem said

    It is 2018 here in Northern Virginia. For the first year I can remember there are no mockingbirds nesting in the tree across the street or anywhere in the local area. They used to sing 24 hours a day, and would drive the crows and ravens away from all the area nests.
    We are now surrounded by new construction and development, which could be why the birds are leaving due to disruption of former food gathering areas.
    Also, there are now only a couple of geese that drop into the field behind us this year. In former years, whole flocks moved from fields to lakes and often dropped by to feed on the new grass.
    The other thing I miss is the spring peepers from the swamp across the road. A few could be heard for only a few days this year. In past years they would be out there peeping for a month or more.

  3. Isabellaa Miram said

    To chase Mockingbirds away is criminal …calling it a relief .. the selfish human what they do best .. destroy nature …

  4. Yes, new construction can be devastating to wildlife. There are many bird species I used to see and hear, but not now. Once the construction quieted down, we’re seeing deer come up from a stream about a mile away and we regularly see foxes in our garden.

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