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Momma Mocking Bird
~ My Own Feathered Friend ~

by Chuck Jones



While thinking about the aforementioned title, “Momma Mocking Bird,” I did some research that led me to believe Momma Mocking Bird (the same bird) had taken up lodging with us and had been sharing her life with us for several years

There are some seventeen species of the mocking bird, and the one most likely to be in the South is the northern mocking bird. We have people called “snow birds” who come south for the winter. I wonder if mocking birds could be called snow birds? (No, pun intended). The mocking bird has been adopted as state bird by Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida and Texas. Remember the numerous songs written about the Mocking bird? “Listen to the Mocking Bird,” “Mocking Bird Lullaby,” and “Mocking Bird Hill.” They are a popular species of birds.

Mocking birds that have taken up existence in our world, away from their natural habitat in the wild, can live for more than fourteen years, so I am more convinced this particular bird has been sharing her life with my wife Nancy and me for some time. I am pleased.

In our backyard near our patio we have a bird feeder, and the bird bath is placed on our patio. We have two maple trees, one on each side of the yard and a tall post centered in the middle part of our yard some thirty yards from the patio, all places Momma Mocking Bird perches to render her beautiful calls. Our chimney, above my favorite patio chair, is also one of her favorite places from which to give us her melodious sounds.

Our relationship began several years ago. I would begin cutting my grass in the front yard, and I noticed a mocking bird following along behind, picking up grubs and insects, as my cutting exposed their location. This continued as I moved to various areas of my yard. On more than one occasion, as I would stop my mower, shut off the engine, and proceed to my garage to sit and take a breather, Momma would fly into the garage, perch herself on my truck and wait, as if to say, “Let’s get back to work; I am still hungry.” This has become a ritual, and has been quite enjoyable to me for several years now.

More recently, as I heard Momma in our back yard singing, I would go out on the patio to listen. I decided to see if I could mimic her. I was successful on some occasions, and at times she would change her location to perch and chirp. She moved back and forth from one of the four areas I mentioned above, and it seemed that if I came too close in my mimic of her, she would become frustrated and fly away until I went inside. Once inside I could again hear Momma back in one of her favorite spots, singing away. She has also built a nest in a shrub at the corner of our house and has brought many other mocking birds into existence from her chosen home.

The experience with Momma Mocking Bird has been a rewarding experience for Nancy and me.

When I think of the joy Momma has brought, and the innocence of her existence, I am reminded of the Harper Lee book, To Kill a Mocking Bird. The book won a Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and is set in a non-existent town in Alabama. The story brings out on many occasions the mocking bird, used as a motif to symbolize the innocence and the injustice in the world.

In closing, it is a heart-warming thought to know I have a feathered friend who has adopted me as her special friend.

And did I mention the four pairs of doves that have taken up residence, along with Momma Mocking Bird? And did I mention the pair of doves that have started their own family on our front porch on a high end supporting column? Well, that is another story. Until the “nest” time…

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Chuck Jones writes: “I attended Forest Hill High School, Millsaps College and Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Retiring from the ministry due to health reasons, Nancy and I moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Tuscaloosa is the location of the main campus of the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!). We have been attending St. Mark United Methodist Church for the past sixteen years and find life here very rewarding.”

Read another of Chuck's USADS stories: Jackson, Mississippi ~ My Home Town


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