Posted by Beth Anne Quinlan, PhD Avian Sciences on 12/11/2020 to Wild Birds
I have always loved the Northern Mockingbird and often think of mockingbirds as gifts from God. Since I was a young girl, I presented Christmas gifts to these special birds, as a symbolic gift to the baby Jesus. That tradition continues today.
Mockingbirds are omnivores and eat a variety of foods including, insects, berries, and even seeds. In the summer, mockingbirds dine primarily on insects, and in the winter they eat more berries. This adaptive strategy has allowed mockingbirds to survive the winter months when insects are scarce.
In Ohio, I planted Arrowwood Viburnum and harvested the berries as they ripened. I strung these berries, along with dried cranberries and raisins to make hanging "wreaths" that the mockers could enjoy in the cold months. These beautiful bushes also brought butterflies to my yard in the spring. Our new home in North Carolina has a large holly in the front yard. The mockingbird with the best repertoire has selected this plant as his home. He winters inside where he can guard the abundant food supply while sheltered from the precipitation and cold temperatures.
At some point, I began cooking for my companion birds. I've modified a lot or recipes through the years, and came up with one that I use to make baked goodies for my mockingbirds, Wild Bird Muffins.