A Northern Mockingbird sighted near Thickson’s Woods

A Northern Mockingbird sighted near Thickson’s Woods

Northern Mockingbird sits on tree branch in Thickson's Woods, Whitby, Ontario, Canada

With Arctic air being driven into Southern Ontario by a gusty wind right out of the north.  Bob and I, nevertheless, seized the opportunity to go in search of  a Northern Mockingbird, in Thickson’s Woods in Whitby, Ontario. 

Northern Mockingbird in Thickson's Woods in Whitby, Ontario, Canada

No sooner had we set out on our walk, than Bob’s keen eye noticed an unfamiliar bird fly by and land in a nearby tree.

Northern Mockingbird beside berries in Thickson's Woods in Whitby, Ontario, Canada

The website that reports local bird sightings had indicated that a shrike and a Northern Mockingbird had been seen in the vicinity of Thickson’s Woods in Whitby.

Northern Mockingbird beside berries in trees in Thickson's Woods in Whitby, Ontario, Canada

During summer months, insects make up the bulk of a Northern Mockingbird’s diet.  In winter, however, berries left over from the previous summer’s bounty constitute most of a mockingbird’s fare.

Jean takes pictures near Thickson's Woods, Whitby, Ontario

Bob and I were well bundled up against the strong north wind, and operating the camera with mittens on was a real challenge.

Northern Mockingbird sitting in tree in Thickson's Woods in Whitby, Ontario, Canada

It was a good thing that the mockingbird could find some shelter in amongst the branches of a tree.

Northern Mockingbird in a tree at Thickson's Woods in Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Here, you get a good look at the Northern Mockingbird’s long tail and underbelly feathers.  A mockingbird is a little larger than a robin, about 10 1/2 inches, with the tail contributing significantly to that length.

Northern Mockingbird sitting in a tree among berries at Thickson's Woods in Whitby, Ontario, Canada

As the frigid wind ruffled the mockingbird’s feathers, it sat puffed up against the cold before it decided to consume some of the abundant berries.

American Robin sitting in a tree at Thickson's Woods in Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Not far from where the mockingbird was chowing down on the little black berries, an American Robin sat similarly puffed up  in a deciduous tree.  Although it might seem odd to see a robin on a subzero January day here in Ontario, it has become much more common in recent years.  Two years ago, Bob and I witnessed a whole flock of robins in the forest adjacent to Toogood Pond in Unionville, Ontario, and that was on a frosty New Year’s Day.

American Robin sitting among berries on a tree at Thickson's Woods in Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Perhaps taking its cue from the mockingbird, the American Robin staked out another shrub full of tempting black berries.

American Robin eats berries on a tree at Thickson's Woods in Whitby, Ontario, Canada

As we watched, the robin ate one berry after another, fortifying itself for the even colder night ahead.

American Robin eats a berry at Thickson's Woods in Whitby, Ontario, Canada

Bob and I were so pleased to learn that local residents and other supporters saved the precious woodland refuge of Thickson’s Woods from destruction as it now serves as a source of food and shelter for local and migrating birds.

You May Also Enjoy:

eastern towhee gives me a look - trans canada trail - forks of the credit - caledon - ontario

An Eastern Towhee at Forks Of The Credit Provincial Park

A Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus) takes time out to sit on the side of a tree in Algonquin Provincial Park

A Black-backed woodpecker in Algonquin Provincial Park

northern flicker - sits atop tree stump - oxtongue lake - ontario

Northern Flicker Hunts for Grubs at Oxtongue Lake

hermit thrush - sits in tree - toronto - ontario

Hermit Thrush Hides In Lilac Bush In Toronto Backyard

Frame To Frame – Bob and Jean

4 comments

  • I am quite enamored with these photos. Birds are so very hard to photograph. The owls in the post below this are quite amazing, too. Very nice indeed!

    • we love that you appreciate our photos. It is indeed difficult to get good snapshots since the birds flicker about so quickly and are so easily startled. We just keep trying to improve on our skills.

  • When my wife and I lived in the Bluffs, we’d venture to these precious Woods to see some interesting birds. I enjoyed this virtual journey once more.

    Hope you can drop by my blog for a visit. http://danielspixelcollective.blogspot.ca/

    • I’m glad you enjoyed reading our blog, and thanks for your comments, Daniel. I must commend you on such excellent photos of the Horned Lark. When last we visited Lynde Shores Conservation Area in Whitby, a fellow birder informed us of his sighting, that day, of a Horned Lark over at the West Cranberry Tract. Bob and I headed right over there, but failed to spot the elusive bird. Maybe next time…