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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mockingbirds everywhere!

We're back from our brief vacation, a road trip that took us through parts of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi on our annual visit to family and friends. Sadly, I cannot tell you that I saw any new birds anywhere along the way, just lots of the old friends that visit my backyard or the ponds, streams, and beaches that I sometimes visit at home.

I was surprised by the number of Yellow-crowned Night Herons I saw along the way. There seemed to be at least one present at every puddle and there were lots of puddles because rain had been plentiful in the areas where we traveled.

In addition to adults like the one in the first picture, there were plenty of juveniles like this one, still dressed in the speckled feathers of the fledgling.

I was not at all surprised though to find Northern Mockingbirds everywhere we went, often busy feeding fledglings. I don't think we made a single stop along the way where there wasn't at least one mockingbird to greet us. This adaptable bird is doing just fine, thank you, all across its range.

A Northern Mockingbird keeps a wary eye on things.

The most amazing avian sight that I saw on our trip was a big flock of Purple Martins circling just at dusk over our motel in Corinth, Mississippi.  There were too many for me to accurately count, but there were well over a hundred, certainly the largest flock of these birds that I have seen this year. But in most of the places that we stopped in Mississippi there were big numbers of martins. Putting up gourds for martin housing is very popular there and the birds are happy to avail themselves of their traditional housing. I was very glad to see this favorite summer bird of mine, which no longer nests in my yard, doing so well in these areas.


  1. I've seen lots of the herons around here too -- there seems to be one in every roadside ditch I drive by.

    1. I think these birds must be having a very good year, Jayne.