Mockingbird  
Mockingbird with an open beak
I've been taking mockingbirds for granted; they always seem to be in my yard, but I haven't spent much time trying to take pictures of them.  Little update - I did, so scroll on through to see what's new.
Mockingbird fledgling sleeping in Donald's lap
Look carefully at this happy little guy.  See the puffball in his lap?  It's a content sleeping fledgling.  Baby birds generally ought to be left alone, but once in a while you come across one that's been played with already, like this one.  I have to hand it to Donald; he was extremely gentle and the baby mockingbird eventually hopped back across the lawn and mama looked after it - the bird mama, not me.
Mockingbird chick exploring my desk
Mockingbird chick in Donald's hand
I expect children to play with available fledgling birds, but this one on the keyboard was handed to me at work by a grownup.  I had to bird-sit it until lunch and then go find its mother.  They were happily reunited, and she was feeding him (or her) lunch, which I never got that day, before I left them.
Mockingbird standing in an Elderberry bush

Baby birds should be left alone, and nests should not be disturbed.  This nest was a few feet away from my bedroom window.  I listened to an awful lot of hungry chirping before I lost my will to leave them alone and snuck up close enough to get a quick picture.

Mockingbird fledgling moving away from home
Mockingbird chick in its nest

I'm glad I didn't wait any longer, because I only caught one chick in the nest.  Another chick was hopping around in the branches nearby.  I thought I caught a glimpse of a third, but I did not want to bother them for too long so I didn't stick around to search.

Mockingbird about to leap to the branch in the foreground and display its under wing color pattern

I debated posting this next mockingbird photograph. This silly bird leapt to a lower branch and the under wing shot was too fun to resist even though it wasn't very clear.

Mockingbird
Mockingbird
Mockingbird Landing
Mockingbird
Mockingbird on a street sign
That's my best shot so far of the distinctive white and grey that flashes past you when you are unfortunate enough to get closer to a mockingbird nest than mama is comfortable with.  Squirrel, human, or anything in between - if you appear to threaten her young, she will try to shoo you away.
Why did the chicken cross the road? It didn't, the Mockingbird did.
...there's something about birds crossing roads. Oh yeah, that was a chicken. Well, here's a Mockingbird crossing the road. It didn't answer when I asked why, but my guess is that it was due to the yummy passion vine berries it was headed toward. They like Elderberry too:
Mockingbird gracefully landing on the peak of a roof
Mockingbird about to eat an Elderberry berry
Mockingbird about to eat an Elderberry berry
I've also seen Mockingbirds with bugs and worms in their beaks. This one was a bit far away on the wire, but you can still tell from the picture that Mockingbirds eat bugs too.
Mockingbird eating bugs
These three chicks were in a nest in a little palm tree, chirping louder than such a small bird seems as though it should be able to sing. One thing babies are great at is letting you know when they want something! Mockingbird chicks are no exception.
Three Mockingbird chicks chirping for food with the inside of their bright yellow beaks showing. 
		There's no doubt where the parent birds are expected to put that meal! Their mouths look like a neon runway screaming 'Land dinner here!'
Three resting Mockingbird chicks in thier nest in a Florida palm tree
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