A Northern Mockingbird’s Peculiar Suet Behavior

As an avid backyard bird photographer, I’m always delighted to observe the fascinating behaviors of our feathered friends. Today’s bird photographing session provided an intriguing moment that left me scratching my head.

The star of the show, a Northern Mockingbird that frequents my suet feeder despite their usual preference for insects and fruits, provided an intriguing moment. These insect and fruit-loving birds don’t typically go for high-fat suet cakes, but this particular individual has become a regular at my feeding station.

The real head-scratcher came when I witnessed the mockingbird grab a chunk of suet, fly over to my bird bath, and promptly drop it into the water! After dunking the treat, it quickly retrieved the soggy morsel and flew off to enjoy its prize.

Northern Mockingbird With A Chunk Of Suet
Northern Mockingbird With A Chunk Of Suet

Why would this intelligent mimic engage in such odd behavior? Here are a few theories:

  • Suet Softening: Maybe the moisture helps soften the dense suet, making it easier for the bird to break it down and consume. A little birdie marinading, if you will.
  • Caching Preparation: Mockingbirds are known to cache food for later, so perhaps dampening the suet helps it adhere to a branch or hiding spot until the bird gets hungry again.
  • Oops, Moment: It’s possible the resourceful bird simply dropped its treat by mistake and swiftly recovered the blooper with its impressive agility.

It’s interesting to note that suet feeders aren’t a typical dining spot for mockingbirds. These birds are primarily insects and fruit eaters. But mockingbirds are also opportunistic foragers, and some individuals will investigate and even become regulars at suet feeders, especially if they see other birds enjoying the high-energy suet treats.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this unusual avian behavior! Have you ever witnessed birds prepping their food in unexpected ways? Share your stories and insights in the comments below.

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