Joys and Challenges of Birdwatching

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) at Gatorland by Lee

“Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (Psalms 37:4 KJV)

While enjoying the birds and critters at Gatorland this week, I had another enjoyable adventure. In fact, at breakfast this morning, I was chuckling as I was again relating my tale to Dan. Most know that Dan is the “Bird Photographer” and I am the “Bird Watcher.” I only use a nice “point-and-shoot” camera that is always set on “Program” mode. In other words, I don’t know an “F-stop” from a “bus stop.”

Earlier, at Gatorland, I had been listening to, and watching a Blue-grey Gnatcatcher in the trees. I kept waiting for him to pop out so I could get a photo. This went on for some time, and most birders know how they do not stay still. Finally, he popped out on a limb in clear view. Pulled my camera and…. it was turned off. Needless to say by the time it was on, he was gone. Yuk! [Here is a photo from another adventure.]

Blue-grey Gnatcatcher preening at Circle B by Lee

Oh, well! There must be another adventure yet to enjoy.

Off I rolled on the motorized wheels, while Dan rested. Aha! I heard a Northern Mockingbird. Let’s see if I can have better luck this time.

“But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” (Psalms 37:11 KJV)

True birders know that “patience is a virtue.” I visually chased that Mockingbird through the bushes waiting for him to pop out. This time I made sure my camera was on. [Program mode also takes great “bush” pictures. Notice how clear the limb in the upper right corner.:o) ]

PAS-Mimi Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) program mode caught the log instead by Lee (8)r

“Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8 KJV)

I heard the Mockingbird first coming from these bushes, and thus began my delightful challenge of getting a photo of it.

Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) at Gatorland

The northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) is the only mockingbird commonly found in North America. This bird is mainly a permanent resident, but northern birds may move south during harsh weather. This species has rarely been observed in Europe. This species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema Naturæ in 1758 as Turdus polyglottos. The northern mockingbird is known for its mimicking ability, as reflected by the meaning of its scientific name, ‘many-tongued mimic.’ The northern mockingbird has gray to brown upper feathers and a paler belly. Its tail and wings have white patches which are visible in flight.

Mockingbird in there

They teach taking photos with a 1/3 rule. Birdwatchers like me place them right in the center so we can find them later.

Northern Mockingbird (cropped)

Cropped – See, it is there.

The northern mockingbird is an omnivore. It eats both insects and fruits. It is often found in open areas and forest edges but forages in grassy land. The northern mockingbird breeds in southeastern Canada, the United States, northern Mexico, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and the Greater Antilles.

Almost got him - at least the eye

Getting better, can see part of it.

The northern mockingbird is known for its intelligence. A 2009 study showed that the bird was able to recognize individual humans, particularly noting those who had previously been intruders or threats. Also, birds recognize their breeding spots and return to areas in which they had the greatest success in previous years. Urban birds are more likely to demonstrate this behavior. Finally, the mockingbird is influential in United States culture, being the state bird of five states, appearing in book titles, songs and lullabies, and making other appearances in popular culture. [Wikipedia with editing]

FINALLY!!!

Finally Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) at Gatorland

NOW HE FOUND ME!!!

He found me Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) at Gatorland

This is the Joy of Birdwatching. You have to love the Adventures, and saying a prayer now and then to ask the Lord to “Please” let the bird come in to view!!!

The whole series on Flickr

More Gatorland Adventures

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4 thoughts on “Joys and Challenges of Birdwatching

  1. Happy and joyous Christmas Lee. Yes I agree, birding is so much more rewarding when we take our Lord along with us and he blesses us with those special favours which we know have come from his kindness. I will be sharing one such prayer in my next post.

    Liked by 1 person

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