Thursday, June 6, 2013

Mockingbird noisy fledglings

Every year for two decades I have kept track of mockingbird reproduction on the UNO campus. 

Right now, there are begging young in front of the student center, and in two places around the Liberal Arts building.

When they first fledge, they have tiny tails- just a stub.  They keep begging food for a month or more, during which time the tail growns to the same length as adults.  So one can estimate how long a youngster has been out the nest by tail length.  Even at full tail length, they retain the streaky breast indicative of being a newbie.

Their fledglings are among the noisiest of our New Orleans urban birds, making a high shrill single note that is easy to recognize once learned.  That makes it relatively easy to keep tabs on how the mockers around your house are doing in a given nesting season- a successful nest will produce noisy fledges that hang around for weeks, and are hard to miss once you know the sound.

You can read more about mockers, and see a pic, on p 63 of Birding Made Easy- New Orleans.

Good birding,


for a copy of Birding Made Easy, email me at

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