Some days one good bird is all I get and if I hadn’t spotted this cooperative Mockingbird on a Fragrant Sumac in northern Utah yesterday I would have been mostly skunked.
Northern Mockingbird in autumn Fragrant Sumac
I saw other birds yesterday but they were either too far away or they were too skittish and took off before I could get focused on them. The other birds I photographed just didn’t make the mark so my best shots of the day were of this Northern Mockingbird.
While I photographed the mockingbird it repeatedly turned its head away from me and it also kept looking up into the sky, I suspect that it could see an airborne predator that I simply could not see. I’ve seen both Cooper’s and Sharp-shinned Hawks in the same area so it may have been one of them that kept the mockingbird on alert. I really can’t say for certain but the mockingbird’s behavior said as much to me. There were three Northern Mockingbirds in this same area last time I was up there but yesterday I saw only one.
I thought it seemed “late” to still be seeing Northern Mockingbirds in Utah but I checked eBird and they are actually seen here year round, that surprised me because I thought it would be way too cold here in the winter for them. Most of them probably do migrate and this is just the latest I have ever seen this species.
I’m just glad this Northen Mockingbird hung around or I would have come home very disappointed.
Life is good.
All images were taken with my Nikon D500 with the 500mm VR lens and 1.4x TC, ISO’s were 800 and 500, aperture was 7.1, shutter speeds ranged from 1/1000 to 1/2000.