Which is meaner: a blue jay or a mockingbird? Which is meaner: a blue jay or a mockingbird?
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    Which is meaner: a blue jay or a mockingbird?
from jyarb #11210  
10/20/2009 9:35:25 AM


 I have been watching an epic battle for the last several days. Four blue jays and a mockingbird feeding on crepe myrtle seeds. From observations over the years, blue jays seem like the bullies of the bird world. They will run off just about any bird, sometimes apparently just to show they can.

Mockingbirds have always impressed me with their courage. They can have a downright nasty disposition also. Have had them swoop at me if I got too close to their nest and they can really fuss at you for the same reason.

My mom had a cat with a chunk out of its ear that a mockingbird gave him for messing with her babies. The cat would lay on his back and swat at the bird as it dived at him. He finally got her.

Anyways, back to the battle. The mockingbird is holding its own against the 4 blue jays. The jays attempt to run him off, but he moves back a few feet and then comes back. Four on one and the mockingbird isn't intimidated.

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   Mockingbird songs from jyarb #11210  10/20/2009 9:44:58 AM
While on the topic of mockingbirds, we have one (maybe the same one) that sits in the top of a dying oak tree and sings all night. Have wondered if he is seranading a female or just likes to sing. This is what one source says:

The Northern Mockingbird, the most well known representative of this family above the equator, is known scientifically as Mimus polyglottos, which comes from the Greek “mimus” to mimic, and “ployglottos” for many-tongued. The song of the mockingbird is actually a medley of the calls of many other birds. Each imitation is repeated two or three times before another song is initiated. A given bird may have 30, 40 or even 200 songs in its repertoire, including other bird songs, insect and amphibian sounds, and even the occasional mechanical noise.

Northern Mockingbird by Corey

Part of the mockingbird’s advantage over other avians is physical; it uses more of the muscles in its vocal organ, the syrinx, than most other passerines do, many more than non-passerines like raptors or waterfowl. But the mockingbird also has a mind for music. It’s been theorized that this species has more brain matter devoted to song memory than most other birds do. Why does the mockingbird sing? The vocal mimicry trait seems to indicate that lyrical flow is an especially potent aphrodisiac in mockingbird circles, although some lonely males warble and whine the whole night through when unable to find a mate.

“Northern” is a rather ambiguous descriptor for Mimus polyglottos, as it is the only mockingbird to appear regularly anywhere north of Mexico."

I bet even Wacko doesn't know the words to 200 songs.

   Bluejays are meaner and crazy! from Spinny  10/20/2009 9:53:12 AM
Mockingbirds are just territorial. Particularly with young in the nest.

We have one my wife calls Mo. For a couple of years, in the Spring, he couldn't buy a female to mate with, so we thought he was gay. He always fies into the holly tree next to the driveway when she pulls up, and sings her a song.

Now he and his new "mate" have taken to dancing on our porch and singing up a storm, right in front of the door.

I guess we'll have to change his name if we find younguns in the nest this coming Spring. LOL

They're all fun to watch though.

   jaybirds/crows from Beartrap  10/20/2009 9:56:46 AM
I've been told by people who have pecan orchards that jaybirds will destroy as many pecans as crows do and they not only will do it for food but they will just rip the nuts off the limb and let them fall to the ground...there is one large pecan grower near here who will pay you a $1.00 for every crow you can kill on his property...unfortunately the crows on his property are very educated and you turn crow call on and they go the other way....

the crow is the undisputed thug of the bird family....as near as I can tell,a crows diet in spring and summer is eggs or small chicks from other birds nests...almost every crow you see in that time frame is being chased by smaller birds and if you look close the crow is usually carrying off an egg or baby bird....I've never seen it but am told they will gang up on ducks and geese and swipe their eggs or the small ducklings/goslings...

   A Red tail from Wannabe  10/20/2009 10:09:29 AM
will whoop 'em all, but a Goose will whoop you.


   we have a "pet" bluejay at our garden from Gene  10/20/2009 10:35:04 AM
the story is a cat brought home a baby bluejay, they live close to the garden. They nursed it back to health. He comes by to see us most every time we are at the garden. I guess he is a vegetarian. We have fed him carrot pieces when we are digging carrots. We have also fed him sweet taters, and red taters when we are planting or harvesting. He will land on your shoulder and head, looking for a hand out. a month ago while planting taters he came and sat on my thumb and I fed hin a little piece of red tater. He got it and threw it down. I gave him a bigger piece, he took it and flew off. It was so big and heavy, as he flew he was listing forward as he flew. Greedy little fart. I think we have had him for 3 years, on and off. We also had a red tailed hawk and a bald eagle "fight", the hawk was all over the eagle, like a crow will be all over a hawk.


   Think the line in the book goes . . . from 31Airborne  10/20/2009 12:13:00 PM
". . . you can shoot all the bluejays you want but never kill a mockingbird."

   Hush, little baby. from Wackoman  10/20/2009 2:29:40 PM
Don't say a word.
Mama's going to buy you
a mocking bird.

Funny you should ask jbird ;)

Good post and please post more often or at least between your naps.

Edited 10/20/2009 3:48:16 PM

   Good post jyarb from DaveT  10/20/2009 3:49:14 PM
Good post, and you can always count on wacko for a song.

   tra la la..twiddle de dee dee from Beartrap  10/20/2009 4:15:08 PM
"when the sun in the morning,
peeps over the hill..

you're as welcome as flowers,
on mockingbird Hill....
Patti Page (1950)


   Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" from jyarb #11210  10/20/2009 5:41:12 PM
Still remember that movie. Got to thinking if anyone has ever been killed by a bird attack. Have always heard that an ostrich kick can break a leg. Did some research and there are recorded deaths from both the ostrich and the cassowary. A 16 year old boy and his brother were trying to kill a cassowary. The bird kicked him in the neck and the boy bled to death as he tried to run away. Saw several cases of people being killed by an ostrich kick. The brain of an ostrich is smaller than one of its eyes. Here's some info:

Birds on a Plane: The Top 9 Most Dangerous Birds You Wouldn't Want to be Trapped on a Plane With
by www.SixWise.com

The new film Snakes on a Plane is a box office success (whether it deserves to be or not is another question). Inevitably there will be a sequel or two, or maybe ten. While it might be Iguanas on a Plane or Squid on a Plane or even Cows on a Plane, we're going to take an early guess and say the next film will be called Birds on a Plane.

Cassowaries are big, unpredictable and aggressive ... and their kicks are strong enough to break bones (oh, and did we mention their dagger-like claws?).

If so, the director might want to consider using several (or all) of the birds listed below, as these are nine of the world's most dangerous birds.

1. Cassowaries

Cassowaries, an endangered species, are large, flightless birds that live in the rainforests, woodlands and swamps of Australia. Cassowaries are unpredictable, aggressive and are known to kick up their large, clawed feet. Their kicks are capable of breaking bones, and their claws have been likened to daggers.

2. Ostriches

Ostriches are suspicious, skittish and can be dangerous. They're the largest living bird (they can reach over 9 feet tall and 350 pounds) and they can outrun you (a steady 30 miles an hour for 10 miles straight). Like the cassowary, they have strong legs (their kick can kill a hyena) and sharp claws.

3. Canada Geese

Canada geese are very aggressive and, particularly if you (purposely or inadvertently) come near their nests or young, they may chase you away and even bite you.

4. Seagulls

Seagulls are extremely aggressive and are known to attack and even peck at people's heads to protect their nests and young. In fact, in Britain people have been forced to carry umbrellas to avoid the attacks, at least one woman was taken to an emergency room with deep beak wounds to her head, and a pet dog was killed by the birds.

5. Owls

Owls are raptors, or birds of prey, and they use their talons and beaks to kill and eat their catch. In a closed space, or if the bird was scared or agitated, it could cause serious harm to you.

6. Hawks and Falcons

Also birds of prey, the sharp talons and beaks that hawks and falcons use to hunt, along with their quick speed and agility, pose serious dangers to humans, even if the birds are just babies (falcons' beaks are also specially configured to cut through the spinal cords of their prey).

7. Eagles

Eagles are strong (strong enough to carry away something that weighs four pounds), aggressive birds, and although they don't pose much of a danger to humans in the wild, in a closed space their beak and talons could easily harm a human. (FYI, they can eat about a pound of fish in just four minutes.)

8. Vultures

If cornered, a vulture (many species of which are now endangered) may hiss or make a low grunting sound at you. They, of course, also have sharp, hooked beaks that can tear meat, along with excellent eyesight.

9. Rheas

The rhea, native to South America, is a large, flightless bird that can grow to be 60-80 pounds. Though smaller than ostriches and not as aggressive as cassowaries, rheas have heavily muscled legs, hard spurs on their feet and their kicks can bring a force of 800 pounds per square inch.

Recommended Reading

Bugs that

   Back in the 50's I was stationed in Hawaii. from WHIMSY  10/20/2009 6:18:23 PM
On one of the other Islands, a man was killed by a rooster. He was watching a cock fight when the bird somehow flew to wards him and the metal spur on one foot hit him in the leg and penetrated the artery. Since such fights were not legal, I suspect they were slow about getting him medical aid.

   a duck hunter was killed in a bird attack once from Beartrap  10/20/2009 6:41:05 PM
there were three duck hunters in a blind many years ago when a flock of foo birds flew over....one of the hunters raised his gun and the other two yelled at him not to shoot but he shot anyway and killed one of the foo birds..
when the bird fell,the rest of the flock wheeled and flew low overhead and all of them crapped all over him...he raised his gun again and the other two hunters screamed at him not to shoot but he fired anyway killing another foo bird...this time the flock returned and pecked him to death..

the moral of the story.....if the foo shits,wear it....

   south american rhea (picture) from Beartrap  10/20/2009 9:08:13 PM

these three were running across a field probaly 200 yards away so they don't look big in the picture but they are big birds.bigger than anything I've ever seen...... I would guess the body of the bird is about waist tall to a man..... they were also real spooky,we would see a group or two each day traveling to and from dove fields in Bolivia but they would start running away even if you were just passing by on a dirt road...the edge of these fields are real straight and one group spooked from middle of field and when they got to edge of jungle across the field,they turned and were running along parallel with our little bus for several hundred yards...as near as I could tell,they were running about 40 mph...

   Ahhh Patti you little Okie Darlin' from Hutch #10968  10/20/2009 10:38:40 PM
Prettier than Reba, but not Carrie..... thanks BT,,,, Hutch



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