The eggs hatched last week and the Mocker family has been VERY busy. Goodness, those little beggars can eat. The nest is right in front of the kitchen window and we can just barely see through the vines of the P. Constance Elliott to see their little heads pop up when mom or dad come with food. Too bad I can't get a picture, but they move too fast for me. Maybe when they get a little bigger.
Yesterday, we noticed another nest being built in the Lady Banks rose at the back of the house, right up against the screen of our outside room. It was also a day of warfare. First, two mockingbirds got into a heck of a fight in and around the rose bush - perhaps a young male trying to intrude? Then, and this was wild to watch, a roadrunner came to feed and our Mr Mocker took umbrage. He attacked as they always do, diving and feinting at the RR. Roadrunner was defensive, then put his head down level with his body - just like the cartoon! - and I thought he would get lost quick. But as he was pecking at a plant on the edge of the slope, Mocker hit him with a body slam and they both went flying over the slope, wings akimbo! Wow! I've seen mockingbirds go after hawks and crows, but never saw them attack like that. Things are back to normal today, feeding going on constantly.
The orioles are still around but don't seem to be considered a threat to the mockers; they don't bother each other. Spring and early summer are so much fun around here.
The babies left the nest this morning. We watched each of the four climb out and move along the vines, testing their wings and trying to keep their grip. As time went on, they moved farther away from the nest and by this afternoon they were all gone. We'll miss them, though we didn't get to see them much. It seemed that once the time came, it was over so fast. Two days ago they were still hiding in the nest begging for food. Fun while it lasted.
Now we'll keep an eye on the other nest in the back and see if they use that one, too. The squirrels are a real problem. This afternoon a squirrel was taunting the mocker and noise between the two was so bad we could hardly stand it. The squirrels scare our parrots, too, with their high-pitched squeaks.
Our mockers have been so well-behaved! They are prepping the nest in the Lady Banks now, whilst still feeding the babies.
On Sunday evening, our neighbor spotted a barn owl alongside the road (Hwy 76) on her way home. She stopped at our place to ask what to do, so we grabbed my welding gloves (leather, with high cuffs) and a box and went back to see if he was still there. Just as we pulled up he started to cross the road amidst all the traffic, so while she and I stopped traffic (yep, we sure did) her husband took the box and scooped him up mid-hop and slapped the lid on. On the way home we started calling to find out where we could take him. Unfortunately, being a Sunday evening and the fact that we live in NORTH San Diego County - you'd have to live here to know what that means - there was no place to take him and nobody available for help. Project Wildlife here is a great resource, though, and I talked to someone from there who told me what not to do. First thing in the morning I took him to our vet, who has an agreement to triage wildlife and then turn them over to the rehab groups. Unfortunately, his injuries were too severe - his wing was shattered - and they had to put the poor little guy to sleep. He was probably hit by a car which, I was told, is how a lot of them die.
Well, I stayed over to the side until the traffic stopped, just motioning to people to slow down/stop. My neighbor, though, got really ticked off at one guy who wasn't slowing down enough and she stepped right in front of him. Maybe she forgot she wasn't in uniform. :-)
But really, if you saw three people in the road in front of you, wouldn't you just stop? Sheesh!
The whole thing took only about a minute.
The last time she brought me the hummingbird without eyes...am I getting a reputation?