Mockingbird and Cardinals: Behaviors in Snow Time

Yesterday (6 February 2010) was another day of snow, and shoveling snow. My son and I cleared sidewalk and driveway and even part of our street here in Radford. Each time I took a short break, I would look around to see what birds might be in the trees of our yard or near by.

A couple of times I noticed a mockingbird flying into the holly shrubs beside our house. I figured it was visiting the hollies to eat the bright red berries--there are plenty of them right now--but the mocker it turned out was not doing that at all. While I was resting in the house about 1 p.m. I looked out the window and witnessed the mockingbird fluttering up under icicles that were hanging from holly leaves. It was sipping water drops at the tips of the icicles. It visited many icicles, sometimes fluttering under the icicles as if gleaning insects from the leaves, and drank water from the ice. Other times it simply perched on twigs and stretched its body, and neck way up and drank. One time I saw its mouth open and a cold water droplet fell right inside.

Yeah, I know nothing profound, but it fascinated me anyway. I had not seen a mockingbird do that before.

During another round of snow shoveling yesterday, I heard two cardinals singing near me. I saw them perched about midway in our tall sweet gum tree. It was a pair of cardinals singing to each other, both singing from what I could tell, identical snippets of song---one would sing then the other. The pair sang for about two minutes before they flew away. I am thinking now that spring might not be so far away, though my sore arms and back are arguing about all that snow I shoveled.