Friday, June 28, 2013

Mockingbirds Nesting at CyFair

When it comes to keeping an eye on nesting activity on the CyFair campus, my focus is usually on what our several pairs of Western Kingbirds are up to. 

In this regard, one thing that has puzzled me this year has been that our oldest pair of Kingbirds hasn't nested under the roof of the basketball court. This is the first time this has happened since 2005. However, there may be a simple explanation. Northern Mockingbirds have built a nest in the gate of the basketball court and they're aggressively defending the area.

I first noticed the nest at the start of the week. Unfortunately, it is several feet above the level of my head and so I can't look into it. However, although I couldn't see any nestlings, there must be at least one because the parents keep bringing food.

Yesterday afternoon I finally managed to spot a nestling's beak poking up out of the nest.

So is this pair raising only one youngster?I waited a while and then tried taking some photos blind, with the camera held above my head and pointing in the direction of the nest. Most of the photos missed the nest but one didn't. If you look carefully, you can just see a second bird's head partly concealed by the vertical metal bar.


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