From my window I can observe the court of the reigning king of the hill. This prince of the porch reigns supreme as no one is willing to stand up (or fly) to challenge him. His desire: to save all the suet for himself. This king is no magnanimous monarch, there is no generosity associated with his rule. This iron-fisted (and feather clad) ruler accepts no rebukes from those seemingly stronger or more able. One must admire his tenacity as he has ruled for some time, something about him has kept his challengers at bay. He seems to be feared by all denizens of the kingdom. When he is not overseeing his court others approach cautiously to gather what nourishment they can from the king's stores. They know they must hurry for soon the mockingbird king will come.
As I watch I can see another who could take command. He is a more benevolent aristocrat who could challenge for the throne, but alas something is keeping him from taking charge. Physically he appears to be more than able to assume command. He is more mild mannered than the current king, more unassuming, and more even-tempered. Perhaps this is why he waits. Maybe he is of a patient, calculating, and intelligent nature and has a plan. He must hurry, for the subjects of the malevolent mockingbird monarch are growing hungry and frustrated with their attempts to feed their families. Until that day the kingdom waits, secretly hoping that the regime of the old king will be replaced by the rule of a kinder and gentler king. For now his sovereignty remains unchallenged, but one of these days someone will dethrone the king.
Mockingbirds are known to be territorial and this one is no exception. He guards the feeders most of the day preventing any other birds from partaking of the food. At least twice this week the mockingbird chased birds into our windows, fortunately none have been hurt. The mockingbirds we have are good in a way. They chase the crows away so we never have to worry about them. They love eating the grasshoppers in the summer which reduces the damage the grasshoppers can cause in the yard. Unfortunately the mockingbirds seem to like peanut butter suet. The woodpecker in the picture above doesn't not get along well with the mockingbird. I really think the woodpecker could win in an altercation with the mockingbird but he just isn't as aggressive. I think once more food becomes available the mockingbirds will abandon the suet feeder for live game. At least that is my hope!
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Wednesday, January 16, 2008
From my window...
Dave is the author of Growing The Home Garden and runs a small nursery business growing vegetables and herbs for local customers in Spring Hill, TN. (Blue Shed Gardens or FB page). He has written for gardening publications, Troy-Bilt and Lowe's and is available for edible garden consulting. Dave gardens organically and when he isn't writing, collecting seeds, or propagating plants he's parenting his 4 children as a stay at home dad.