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Birds

Mary’s Santa Rosa Backyard

Since Leslie and her mother spent much of their time getting ready for the Saturday party, I spent even more time than usual in Mary’s backyard enjoying the sunshine I haven’t seen much of since last summer. I don’t sunbathe and I don’t even particularly like reading outdoors, so I took my camera with me and observed the flowers and the wildlife.

As I’ve noted since I took up birdwatching several years ago, there are four birds that seem to predominate in this Santa Rosa backyard: the Mockingbird, the Scrub Jay, the California Towhee, and the Mourning Dove (which I didn’t get a good picture of this time, though I still observed several).

The most interesting to me is the Mockingbird since we don’t have them in the Pacific Northwest and I can’t remember ever seeing one until I’d seen the one’s in Mary’s backyard a few years ago. Until then, I thought they were a Southern phenomena.

Mockingbird

The more I observe them, the more aggressive they seem to me.

This time they seemed particularly upset by this young Scrub Jay, which even managed to annoy me, not to mention it’s parents, by hiding in a tree and chattering loudly until mom or dad brought it some food.

Immature Scrub Jay

It became perfectly clear that these species did not like sharing Mary’s backyard with each other. A little exploring on the internet confirmed the fact that both species are highly territorial and will often attack each other.

Strangely enough, this California Towhee, a constant presence in the yard, did not seem to bother either the Mockingbird or the Scrub Jay,

California Towhee

odd since our Spotted Towhee is quite aggressive, though admittedly with birds smaller than either the Mockingbird or the Jay.

The more I learn about birds, the more I need to know to understand their behavior.