The Falcon and the Mockingbird

Real Estate Agent with Realty Associates Texas 599921 Texas

FalconThis past Sunday, I walked out onto the patio to take in some coolness before the southeast Texas heat made it impossible to enjoy being outdoors. I immediately heard mockingbirds squawking and making a stir, so I looked around to see what or who had the gall to invade their space.

I spotted a large falcon perched on top of a utility pole about 50 or 60 yards away, and probably 50 ft. in the air. Since I’m a very poor judge of distance, I’ll just say that it was far enough that my current camera couldn’t have zoomed in well enough to get a reasonably discernable shot.

About 5 feet below and a few yards away from the falcon, there were two mockingbirds perched on the utility line. They apparently intended to make it clear that this was their territory, no falcons allowed. The falcon ignored them, though one of the mockingbirds repeatedly flew behind him and dove at his back with swift, glancing blows at first, but finally began striking hard enough to ruffle feathers. The falcon didn’t budge, focused on his task of perusing the landscape below for his next meal.

The second mockingbird seemed to be the aggressive bird’s wingman (ha-ha), watching from what he Mockingbirdperceived as a safe distance, sometimes seeming ready to join in and help his pal. Ultimately, the wingman remained perched on the line, safe unless the falcon decided to launch his own attack.

I was amused when the aggressive mockingbird took brief breaks to perch alongside his companion to have a (loud) discussion. If I were to imagine what the two birds were discussing, it would be that the aggressive bird was admonishing his companion for failing to come to his aid against such a formidable enemy

I stood there studying the falcon’s ability to ignore the attacks, intent on his mission of having a good breakfast that morning. As the battle raged on, I thought, I will be like that falcon, immovable when faced with a challengenever distracted from my mission and never allowing my progress toward my goals to stall.

As I continued to watch, I was struck by the tenacity of a small bird bravely confronting a deadly enemy that only remained perched with complete equanimity during the onslaught. Since mockingbirds are well known for their protective instinct, I fully expected the bird to continue until the falcon had had enough, and turned in one swift movement to permanently end the stoic bird’s attack.

ConfidenceWhat happened next was much more impressive. I witnessed the result of the small bird’s persistence when the falcon took flight and perched on a different pole, more than 100 yards away from his adversary. The falcon continued his visual sweep of the landscape from his new perch, in search of his morning meal, while the mockingbird made a single winged pass to mark the line the falcon was not to cross.

And then I thought, I will be like that mockingbird—courageously pursuing my goals with confidence, better ideas, and an unwillingness to accept anything less than success.

If you listen and observe, nature will teach you much of what you need to know about the things really worth knowing. The rest are the details, and it’s important to give them your full attention, armed with the things really worth knowing.

By the way, the mockingbird is the State Bird of Texas, known for it's beautiful song and ability to mimic the song of other birds, frogs, and even barking dogs and most any sound they pick up in their environment.  The following video contains just over aminute of mockingbird song.  It's fascinating to hear the range of the bird's song.  I noticed there are some lengthy audio recordings of the mockingbird song on YouTube. At least one of them is perfect for listening while relaxing, or even for peaceful sleep.


Comments (11)

Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Kate- I love your post!!!  I too love to study nature, and observe the lessons they can teach us!!! 

Jul 27, 2018 06:01 PM
Kate McQueen

Thank you, Kathy!  It was a great experience, I love the outdoors and it's wonderful to be there for a show like this one, I admire tenacity as a trait and the mockingbird's protective instinct is the perfect example of what determination and persistence can achieve.

Jul 28, 2018 03:09 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign


                                                        Thank you, Kate. 

Jul 28, 2018 06:04 PM
Kate McQueen

Kathy Streib thank you so much for including my post in your weekly series!  I'm glad that this post spoke to you, I thought about this all week and finally decided to write about it.  You are such a wonderful and supportive member of the AR community, I'm grateful for the support and commraderie.

Jul 29, 2018 08:28 AM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Kate. This is a really neat post and I enjoyed reading it. Thank you.

Jul 29, 2018 04:37 AM
Kate McQueen

Glad you enjoyed it, Sheila!  I truly enjoyed that moment, and it's important in life to have activities that allow you to "be there" as opposed to rushing around thinking about your to do list and forgetting to enjoy the journey.  One of the things that helps me do that is to complete Sudoko puzzles, I can't say enough about how it helps me focus on what I'm doing as opposed to my schedule and time slots for accomplishing each day's activities.

Jul 29, 2018 08:30 AM
faye schubert
Retired - Branson, MO
Living the Branson Lake Life

We can learn so much by just observing nature.

Jul 29, 2018 04:58 AM
Debb Janes
Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
Put My Love of Nature At Work for You

Wonderful story and love your thoughts. You are so right, nature has many answers for us, all we need to do is show up and observe. Thanks Kate! 

Jul 29, 2018 06:45 AM
Kate McQueen

Glad you enjoyed this story, I find that I am at by best writing level when I'm writing about something that inspires me.

Jul 29, 2018 08:32 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

This is awesome...great story and great lessons learned! So glad Kathy Streib shared it!

Jul 29, 2018 07:09 AM
Kate McQueen

I'm glad you enjoyed it!  It was one of those moments that inspired me and I wanted to share it.

Jul 29, 2018 08:34 AM
Kate McQueen
Realty Associates Texas - Cypress, TX
Tailored service for your real estate needs!

I've decided to change the post only slightly.  From "I want to be...." to "I WILL BE..."

Jul 29, 2018 08:34 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

What a wonderful story; I love the persistence of the smaller bird.

Jul 30, 2018 04:18 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Great story Kate McQueen ! We have hawks and the black birds do the same thing. There is a great book by Ted Andrews called "Animal SPEAK". It is very interesting to learn about animals, birds, insects, and reptiles and how they might interact with us. I bought it when I moved to Sedona. Everytime I see an animal cross my path, I will read about it.

Jul 30, 2018 08:26 AM
Kate McQueen

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® thank you and how lucky you are to live in Sedona!  I've always wanted to make the Jazz Festival, I must make it happen!

"Animal Speak" sounds interesting, I'll have to order a copy.

Jul 30, 2018 10:24 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

That mockingbird was persistent, to say the least. And the falcon just didn't want to be bothered! He soon found another perch to seek his prey.

Jul 30, 2018 11:33 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Kate

I love this story and the analogy...the mockingbird is the way to be, I think.

The mockingbirds here love chasing the hawks, as do the crows. I saw 2 mockingbirds going after a cat on a fence one day over by my latest listing - it was pretty funny to watch and the cat finally gave in and ran and hid.


Jul 30, 2018 04:40 PM
Kate McQueen

Jeff Dowler, CRS I'm laughing right now because the image of a favorite childhood cat running from mockingbirds came to mind when you mentioned the cat running to hide.  My cat was very much the hunter and frequently found herself being stalked by angry mockingbirds.  If you get a few minutes, you might like the brief audio of the mockingbird song in the video I added to my post.  Thank you for taking a few minutes to read my story, I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Jul 30, 2018 06:37 PM