…It was a lonely early spring evening, maybe a year ago, maybe more. The delicious mulberries were slightly fermented…it was hard to stop eating them…
“Hey, we’re both in the Mimidae family, why would it be wrong?”
Mockingbird x Thrasher Hybrid?
Here’s the facts:
- Mulberries do ferment and birds can get “drunk.”
- Mockingbirds and Thrashers are in the same family of birds and, if they live in close proximity, they can mate but it’s quite rare.
- We have mulberries, mockingbirds, and thrashers in our yard.
Did it happen?
Probably not. The expert birders in my Facebook group all agree that this is a Northern Mockingbird with a bill deformity. Sad, but it is busily building a nest with another mockingbird so it must have adapted. It certainly threw me for a loop when I first started seeing this bird, though.
In other less R-rated news in my yard…I hit yard bird species #26 with this bird:
There were at least 4 of them here for 2-3 weeks but they don’t summer in Phoenix and I think they moved on a few days ago. I saw one lagging behind but it’s gone now, too.
Speaking of mulberries, they loved them. I don’t know if it led to any R or X-rated behavior, though.
And then yard bird species #27 stopped by:
Brown-headed Cowbird, female
Cowbirds are parasitic nesters. “Females forgo building nests and instead put all their energy into producing eggs, sometimes more than three dozen a summer. These they lay in the nests of other birds, abandoning their young to foster parents, usually at the expense of at least some of the host’s own chicks” (Cornell Lab of Ornithology). Looks like she’s looking for nests…
I’m almost sure I saw another bird in my yard that would have been a Lifer but I didn’t get a photo and I saw it for only a few seconds. It was a Plumbeous Vireo. I spent hours sitting in my yard waiting for it to reappear but it never did.
Oh, and the little Black-chinned Hummingbird that I mentioned a few posts back is still here. This tiny guy is speedy but I finally was able to capture a glimpse of his purple collar:
See? It’s barely visible, above.