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Hi everyone.  I have a question about mockingbirds and their territories as it pertains to other nesting birds.  Here's the story... I have a pole feeder system and a platform feeder in the front yard, and our yard is bordered by tons of native shrubs and trees, many of them berry-producing.  The mockingbird pair has been a resident here, but they've not really bothered with the feeders until lately... which is totally MY fault.  I put a tiny dish of dried mealworms out this winter on the platform feeder for some of the other birds, then added a tiny dish with a few blueberries in it.  Well, I guess you can see where this is going.  The mockingbirds wanted the mealworms and berries (naturally) and have now been running everyone else off whenever they come to the platform.  Now closer to where I knew the mockingbirds perched (near the cluster of trees that bear fruit (black cherry, holly, etc.)... I put another platform feeder JUST for the mockingbirds (the other birds don't visit that feeder).  Suet, berries, and mealworms are all in that feeder.

I will be removing the blueberries and mealworms SLOWLY from the platform feeder meant for the other birds, knowing there are some of both in the feeder meant for the mockingbirds.  But outside of that, I'm wondering about nest boxes for other birds...

The burning question that I can't find an answer to online:  Will mockingbirds bother or harass any nesting birds, or nest-building birds who are trying to nest or build a nest in the boxes at the same end of the yard as where the mockingbirds hang out?

I realize this isn't an easy question to answer, and I can find virtually nothing trying to Google this.  Hoping you guys have some insight and/or suggestions?  Some birds (like the Carolina Wrens) are eyeballing nesting locations, and by February (I live in central Alabama)... choices will be made.

Opinions, suggestions, experiences??

EDIT:  Just got off the phone with a 'bird expert' I know, and she said the mockingbird is strongly defending his territory, meaning it's likely not JUST about the food but about the location.  It's that time of year when they begin choosing where to begin to build a nest, and she also said that if that mockingbird is still around and defending the territory this way it's likely chosen a location in our yard (guess we will need to buy helmets lol).  I do see the mockingbird perching on the arbor at the end of the yard where most of the fruiting trees are, and he definitely watches the yard all day long.  So, in a couple of months, when their nesting season ends... they will likely just go about their business.  This pair has been in the neighborhood since we've lived here (3 years), and I've seen them getting drinks from the bird bath and perching on TOP of the other platform feeder (the one for other birds), but no serious aggression to the other birds until this winter.  It will play out, and I guess that's when I will have answers, especially if they decide to bounce off my head if I'm gardening in that end of the yard. lol  But I would still love to hear everyone's thoughts, tips, experiences on this.  The more knowledge the better, I say. :)

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My experience has them ignoring small birds like House Finches, Goldfinches, and sparrows. Larger birds like Scrub Jays, Kingbirds, hawks, and owls are attacked and pushed away.

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On 1/18/2018 at 11:54 AM, SummerShaddow said:

Just got off the phone with a 'bird expert' I know, and she said the mockingbird is strongly defending his territory, meaning it's likely not JUST about the food but about the location.

I'm not "bird expert" -but with  mockingbird i can confirm its exactly as you observing -they always protect food and territory  (like its only belong to them ) i see this many times in my place where i feed birds .

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Nor am I an expert, but I'll say I think Mockingbirds have about the strangest behavior (strange as in interesting) of all the common neighborhood birds.  I have on more than one occasion observed a Mockingbird bouncing up and down on a wire. He'd jump vertically about eight feet, come straight down back to the wire, repeatedly.  I have observed Mockingbirds stake out a spot on a busy street (for example K street NW in downtown DC) and attack any person who walked past that spot.  One would presume he/she had an active nest nearby, but there wasn't a tree or bush  anywhere in sight. 

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One Mock staked out a Bradford pear tree in our neighborhood a few winters back.  He defended his fruit against all comers for most of the winter.  Then that flock of waxwings showed up and stripped him bare in under 15 minutes.

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Mockingbirds are probably beneficial for other nesting birds to have around, because they are incredibly vigilant when it comes to watching for predators and trying to drive them off. They won't likely other birds nesting in boxes too much, unless they get too close to their nest or try to feed in their favorite fruiting bush. They will be very aggressive towards other mockingbirds though!

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Thanks for all the comments, everyone!  He's still around, usually perched in his favorite spot at the tip top of one of our black cherry trees.  Lately he's been 'absent' for the first half of the day, then he shows up in the latter half to guard 'his' stuff and run the cardinals, etc. off the platform feeder (that has mealworms).  Not really sure as of yet if he and his mate have chosen our yard for food and/or nesting site, but I guess time will tell.  I've seen them both flying around the yard together, perching briefly in the maple tree, doing a few arial dances.  Just still unsure what his intentions are. lol

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