Mixsonian Larry

The Bluebirds or To Kill a Mockingbird

   For a number of years dad made bluebird houses which he placed around his yard.  I always was excited to see pairs of bluebirds in the spring making use of the houses as it brought back fond memories of the purple martin birdhouses dad made when we were kids.  As dad has grown older these past few years, he hasn’t been able to keep up the birdhouses and they begin to fall into disrepair.  A few weeks ago I was at dad’s and he said “I got a bluebird house for your”.  I was thinking like wow, he made me a new one but we walked to side of the house there lay on the ground a pole with one of his old birdhouses barely clinging to it.  I was like, do I really want this old falling apart birdhouse, but dad was really excited for me to take it, so I brought it home.  After removing the old moldy nest in it, making a new front, fresh screws and glue it was good as new and I put it up in my back yard.

Bluebirds  Within a day there were several pairs of bluebirds checking it out.  It was interesting to watch as a pair would land on it and the female then would go in and check it out. If she gave her approval the male would go in and check it out and in the end a couple decided it would be home.  Over the next few days I would see both the female and male bring twigs to build the nest and then over the next couple of weeks coming and going. 
 Baby Bluebird
  In the past few days I begin seeing the babies pop their hungry mouths at the door wanting to be feed and the mom and dad bring things for them to eat or just stand guard.  Then today one of the babies first peeked out, looked out, hopped to the door and took his first flight.  But all did not go well for lurking near by was nasty old Mr. Mockingbird . 


Baby Bluebirds first Flight

  But all did not go well for lurking near by was nasty old Mr. Mockingbird . Mr. Mocking Bird Mr. Mockingbird has been a real pain the past two weeks.  Mr. Mockingbird started with just a quick visit to the feeder and then going away but when arrived, all the other birds that were at the feeder would all scatter.  Over the course of a few days Mr. Mockingbird had claimed the birdfeeders all his own and chases all the other birds away.  If he not sitting on the birdfeeder pole he will be on the fence or in a tree.  Wherever his is he watches the birdfeeders and if any bird comes near he will fly over and chase the away.  Well this was beginning to really annoy me so when I would see him, I would run out my back door screaming and waving my arms.  You should have seen the look on the faces of the workers working on the house next door, they must think I’m some crazy man.

Mr. Mockingbird attacking baby bluebirdSo the baby blue bird takes his first flight to a small tree that is about ten feet from the bird house and lands in the tree.  I was so excited to see the first flight then tragedy struck,  Mr. Mockingbird sweeps in from seemly out of nowhere and attacks the baby bird.   I went crazy, I ran from my bedroom window from where I was taking the photos, though the house, out the back door screaming and waving my arms like some banshee gone mad.

  Well daddy bluebird came to the rescue, swooping in, attacking Mr. Mockingbird andDaddy Bluebird to the Rescue driving him off.  For the next two hours I watched the daddy bluebird show the baby how to fly, land in tree, land on the bird house, fly in circles.  Momma bluebird was there too helping out.  Mr. Mockingbird kept coming back trying to get the baby but daddy and momma bluebird put up a fight and (with a little of my banshee help) drove him off each time.  This was when I really thought about to kill the mockingbird.

As the sun was setting, the baby made it back home with daddy and momma keeping guard. Bluebirds back home

Larry Mixson, 03.25.2019

Peace with Mr. Mockingbird
Several Months later....

   You may recall my encounter with Mr. Mockingbird and Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird, and I wasn’t too happy with Mr. Mockingbird, as they say, I was ready to “Kill a Mockingbird”.   Well a few weeks have passed, the Bluebird family survived and moved on, yet Mr. Mockingbird is still here.  He insists the bird feeders are his and his alone, driving away any other birds that approach.  I got a new slingshot, practicing shooting with my brother on the back porch, but yet when Mr. Mockingbird alights on the birdfeeder, I’m not even close with a shot. 
  Tonight, while out watering the plants I notice there an empty birds’ nest in the crepe myrtle just outside my front door.  The tree is not much more than seven feet tall yet there in the middle of it was the nest.  I look up and there is Mr. Mockingbird on the post not twenty feet away.  He’s watching me.  He chirps, I replied with a whistle.  Again, chirp, whistle and it goes back and forth.  He pauses with his chirps, I pause with my whistle, then I begin with a whistle, he replies with a chirp.  Again, we pause, I say a few words to him.  He looks at me, cocks his head to one side then the other.  I apologize for shooting at him with the sling shot.  He chirps, I whistle.
  Just as Mr. and Mrs. Blue bird were raising and defending their babies, so to was Mr. Mockingbird.  Who was I to interfere, who was I to judge?  I felt more connection to the peaceful Bluebirds and disliked the more aggressive Mockingbirds, yet they each were only provide and protecting their own.  Sometimes we need to see the other side, the side of the Mockingbird and we may find something more, something deeply rooted.

June 5, 2019  

Updated: 12-01-2023