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Northern mockingbird        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Northern mockingbirds are familiar garden birds with flashy black-and-white wings, long tails, an aggressive attitude (to cats, hawks, crows, and most anything perceived as a threat), and a truly exceptional ability to mimic the calls of other birds.   They also mimic squeaky doors, barking dogs, cell phones, and car alarms, among other things.   These were photographed near Escondido, California, and at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area near Moreno Valley, CA.

  • digital capture, Canon 1D Mk. II, 1D3, or 7D2; 500 mm f4 IS + 2X converter or 800 m IS + 1.4X converter, fill-in flash (2004, 2008, 2015)