At the end of November, I noticed a different bird eating the suet and peanuts at our birdfeeders. Initially, I thought it was a female Evening Grossbeak but, with a pointed beak and longer tail, it was soon obvious that this was a bird I had never seen before. He became a more frequent visitor and one day my daughter was able to take a few photos of it and we sent these to Tom Moore, a local bird expert. Tom was quickly able to verify our identification and responded: “Yes it certainly is a Northern Mockingbird according to my Sibley app. I’ve never seen one myself but sightings in Southern Quebec are mentioned every now and then on the Oiseaux Rares du Quebec website. The range map shows that the bird should be a bit south of here in winter but is shown year-round as far north as mid-Vermont/New Hampshire.”
This lone Northern Mockingbird, after visiting our garden daily, is now becoming quite territorial and has found his voice to warn off other birds that dare to invade his feeding site. He darts at the smaller Chickadees, Finches, Nuthatches and Junco and mostly has the peanuts, suet and black sunflower seeds to himself. However, recently, he has been doing battle with a pair of Blue Jays that are less willing to concede and, I have to admit that, when I hear the Mockingbird’s sharp warning cry, I hurry to the window, ready to open the door and even the battle between a lone and rare visitor and a pair of Blue Jays.
So far, our winter has been relatively mild but, with the colder weather, we are concerned that our more southern visitor will be unable to survive. We live in the vicinity of the Marina and would be interested to know if anyone else has seen this bird.