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Aggressive backyard bird


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#1 Waiting

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 12:33 AM

For the last week I haven't been able to go into the back yard during the day without being attacked.

It's a grey bird with white areas and black on the wings. It is about the size of a jay, maybe a bit smaller. I thought it was some form of jay but all the pictures I've found show blue and this bird has none.

I'm in Modesto, CA, in the northern San Joaquin Valley.

I don't know if it's defending a nest or mating territory. Its area seems to be about 6 back yards. I can see others like it several yards away patrolling "their" territory.

Thanks,

gary

#2 blackburnian

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 12:58 AM

sounds like a Mockingbird


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#3 IvoryBillHope

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 12:59 AM

Gray Jay, Clark's Nutcracker


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#4 trialsz63

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 01:00 AM

Could it be a Northern Mockingbird?

 

http://identify.what...ockingbird.aspx

 

They'll aggressively defend their territory like that, dive-bombing anyone or anything that they think might be a danger to their nest. I've had to fight them off in my yard before.


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#5 blackburnian

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 01:01 AM

Welcome to Whatbird!


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#6 fisherman1313

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 01:04 AM

Welcome to WhatBird neighbor.

 

I agree, that's classic behavior for a Northern Mockingbird.

 

IBH: Modesto is way out of range for Gray Jay and there is only one record of nutcracker in Stanislaus County that I'm aware of.


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#7 Waiting

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 02:08 AM

Thanks for the replies.

I looked at pictures of the birds mentioned and I'm thinking it's the Northern Mockingbird. The Clark's Nutcracker is close but a lighter grey and a rounder head.

Is there something I can do to make my yard "off limits"? Plastic owls or something?

In a short period of time yesterday it dive-bombed me a dozen times and hit me four times, even slamming into my thigh. It would have hit me more, but if I turned to face it mid-swoop it would abort. It only attacks from behind.

I have a garden to water and having to be constantly vigilant is bad for my blood pressure.

It hasn't driven off the doves or "my" hummingbird but the sparrows are pretty sparse.

Thanks,

gary

#8 mikeslaven

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 04:14 AM

If it has flashing white wing bars in flight it's a Mockingbird.



#9 cany

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 04:17 AM

Well if there is a nest, you need to wait a bit. You certainly don't want to drive off a bird that has young to care for. It won't be long... wear a hat:)


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#10 Bird Brain

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 05:31 AM

Welcome to Whatbird! Definitely sounds like a Northern Mockingbird. Like cany said, it won't be long until the young are hatched and fledged.


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#11 Waiting

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 05:37 AM

You certainly don't want to drive off a bird that has young to care for.


Agreed. Anyone know how long it takes from hatch to pushing out of the nest?

I'm pretty sure it displays the "flashing white wing bars". Mostly what I see is a flurry of feathers.

gary

#12 BigSkyKen

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 05:38 AM

Sounds like a case of irritable fowl disease!  As the others indicated, it will runs its course.  Not sure if the plastic owl idea will work, but from what I understand, it is the eyes on the owl dummies that deter birds.  Maybe wearing a T-shirt with a face and big eyes on the back will reduce the strikes while you are tending your yard...just an idea.


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#13 Bird Brain

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Posted 02 June 2013 - 05:40 AM

 Anyone know how long it takes from hatch to pushing out of the nest?



gary

 

From 12 to 14 days.


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#14 Waiting

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 06:02 AM

Well, I don't know what happened, somebody somewhere musta flipped a switch.

Went out in the back yard on Sunday and no bird skwaking at me. No dive-bombing. No puffing and wing flapping.

Mocking birds are still around but they show no interest in me or my yard. They are still fussing at each other and they are singing, which I hadn't been hearing. And the doves are cooing again.

I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth, but it's pretty strange.

I'm still wary and a bit jumpy, I think he's lurking out there, letting me get complacent, and then WHAM! Right upside the head!

gary

#15 creeker

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 08:05 AM

Yeah, you're wise not to trust those little grey and whites! They're probably planning their next method of attack, whilst lulling you into complacency.


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#16 South Laurel

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 08:46 AM

Best thing I have found, place a fake snake where don't want the birds (under a bush near your porch, close to a tree you think they will nest around in the spring time but this puts off all birds not just Mockingbirds so you need to think about it). My Mockingbirds just hiss and if I move they watch me like hawks but never go after me, but I am aware of which parts of my yard are off limits this time of year. It is something I have gotten used to over the years.


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#17 LauraC

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Posted 05 June 2013 - 10:31 AM

Thanks for the replies.

I looked at pictures of the birds mentioned and I'm thinking it's the Northern Mockingbird. The Clark's Nutcracker is close but a lighter grey and a rounder head.

Is there something I can do to make my yard "off limits"? Plastic owls or something?

In a short period of time yesterday it dive-bombed me a dozen times and hit me four times, even slamming into my thigh. It would have hit me more, but if I turned to face it mid-swoop it would abort. It only attacks from behind.

I have a garden to water and having to be constantly vigilant is bad for my blood pressure.

It hasn't driven off the doves or "my" hummingbird but the sparrows are pretty sparse.

Thanks,

gary

You should see them go after crows.  This year I have see more mockingbirds dive bombing and chasing crows on the ground, in trees and along the water, than ever before.  They like red grapes.  Maybe you could toss a few to divert them.






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