Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday Afternoon Action


While sitting on our deck and chatting with Chad by phone, I noticed a Mocking Bird fly down from our roof top and flare near the ground. After it had exhibited this behavior a number of times I thought this may be a perfect opportunity to capture it in flight. Retreating into our home as we ended our conversation I grabbed the Canon 30D with the 100-400mm lens.

Once the bird had my full attention, I soon found out what all of the fuss was about. A black snake was trying to cross our lawn only to be driven back in the high grass by the feisty Mocking Bird. As I photographed the scene the bird dive-bombed the snake numerous times being careful each time to peck at its tail. Not once did it approach the snake’s head.

I have seen Mocking Birds harass cats like this many times but, this is the first time I ever witnessed one taking on a snake. The encounter ended with the snake finally returning to the high grass and the Mocking Bird taking up station on our TV antennae where she could command a full view of the area.

13 comments:

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Cool shot! I'm going to watch the mockingbirds in my back yard more closely if they're snake chasers!

Interesting story; thanks for sharing.

Kerri said...

Great capture Salty! I will be watching my mockingbirs closer now!!

fishing guy said...

Salty: What a great photo, you couldn't have asked for a better chance thaen this chance encounter.

nonizamboni said...

I had no idea that the Mockingbird was so lovely when 'unfurled.' Wonderful catch in the heat of battle. And I love your Blue Heron landing--I posted a Heron too but not so awesome.
Thanks for sharing.

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Fantastic... I enjoyed seeing this bird in action... great photo!

Old Wom Tigley said...

Excellent captuture, the open wings andtail feathers are awesome... a proper 'Country Capture' if ever I saw one. What kind of snake would that have been?

imac said...

Very interesting photo Salty, love the story - great post.

Jill said...

WOW! Good Catch!

Shellmo said...

Salty - do you think the mockingbird had babies nearby? Great action shot!

DeeMom said...

Awesome photo

Salty said...

Thanks everyone for your nice comments. I appreciate each and every one.

Tom,
The snake is our common garden variety non-poisonous blacksnake. Blacksnakes pose no threat to humans. They are well known for catching rodents such as mice, rats, moles etc. They also frequently raid bird nest of eggs and young.

Shellmo,
I would expect they are nesting nearby. Quite a few mocking birds hang around my home but I haven’t located a nest yet. I do have a number of trees and shrubs where they could quite easily hide nest.

Chad Oneil Myers said...

Thanks for the "plug" Dad ;)

Great timing to get this image.

Dina said...

Shalom Salty,
So glad you were paying attention and were rewarded with this exciting action shot. Never knew a small bird would be so brave.
You'd like the cat with snake in mouth at http://jerusalemhillsdailyphoto.blogspot.com/2008/04/camera-critter-sunday.html .
Thanks for visiting the camels.