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Old 2019-03-15, 12:28   #7
Dr Sardonicus
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Feb 2017

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Originally Posted by kladner View Post
Mockingbirds are also highly aggressive chasers of all sorts of predators, terrestrial or airborne. Cats are prime targets, as are any birds that are remotely hawk-like. Mockingbirds aren't picky. I have seen one tormenting a turkey vulture.

On one of our trips to downstate Illinois, we heard a terrific cacophony of crows. As we watched, a hawk came flying hard through the tree tops. It was being pursued by a super-murder of crows.
One time, when I was walking to the grocery store, I saw a red-tailed hawk being chased off by a few crows. When I was walking back, I saw a crow being chased off by some smaller birds, I forget what kind.

I was struck by the following occurrence in the war with Mexico, as described in a PBS documentary:

In the summer of 1846, US troops were stationed at Ciudad Camargo, in absolutely abominable conditions. They died in great numbers, of dysentery and other diseases. The "dead march" was played so often that the mockingbirds began imitating it. The road on which reinforcements came to the encampment went by the cemetery. As a result, the incoming troops were greeted by mockingbirds singing the "dead march." It must have been a real morale-booster...
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