Since we moved here almost 5 years ago, we've had a relationship of sorts with our local mockingbird (who is probably really several birds, who am i kidding). We named him "Thump" because of the way he'd plop down beside us while we gardened. He's always seemed curious of us and is an excellent hornworm sentinal in the gardens, only occasionally nipping at the tomatoes. He prefers bugs to veggies and is a great asset to the garden, but is also a friend.
Every year we watch as Thump courts his wife, gathers sticks for his nest, and finally brings his fledgelings into the world for us to meet. Invariably we hear the mature boy chicks singing lonesomely in the night, looking for their own mates, until they finally move onto their new territory. Thump and his wife are excellent parents, screaming at passing cats and bombing them with sharp little beaks. I do my part to help by throwing stones and making life cat unfriendly around my homestead. I give all our local plenty of water in the summer and try and feed seeds in the Winter when i can. I really enjoy this time of year, spotting fledgelings of all sorts. Our little pond in the backyard is a fantastic gathering place for all sorts of critters, and i've been noticing several puffy bluejay fledges trying their wings for their first baths.
We will miss Thump and all his mockingbird friends and family when we leave this area, plus the cardinals and pretty bluejays. I look forward to getting reacquainted with the northern birds, though.