2013 Project 365

Project 365/178 – The Mockingbird and the Cats


There’s a reason why I’m copping an attitude. You see, my little house that I set up with my mockingbird love is just near the kitchen door. Inside the nest are four little ones that need lots of food and protection.


Little did we know that when we picked our real estate spot, cats like Tuxedo and Sunshine wandered below. So here I am, setting up the alarm for hours while the cats lay in the shade.


I’m not too worried about the white cat. She likes to eat and sleep most of the time. But I’m still keeping a close eye on her.


But the black cat. That evil sneaky little devil. The known bird assassin. All of the birds around the neighborhood know about the black cat. In fact, there is a wanted poster in the bird’s clubhouse. He is known far and wide for climbing up trees and finding babies. I don’t care that he’s gotten older and has lost the taste for little baby birds. Once a killer, always a killer.


The human keeps popping out with that weird thing in her hands. Why doesn’t she just take those cats and put them back inside where they belong? Stupid cats. How dare they just lay around taunting me? Don’t they know I’m busy? I’ve got babies to feed. Oh wait….

Phew ! They’re finally going in. Now I can take off and rest a bit. All this alarm calling is exhausting.



Background of this post: It took all day to capture this scene. The Mockingbird and his mate sit on the metal statue only in the mornings. Grabbing the Canon Mark III and the 500mm lens, I was able to get these uncropped closeups of the bird. However, the cats were much less cooperative as models.

In the middle of the day, we discovered where the nest was. So I grabbed a ladder and changed the lens to the 24-105mm. Climbing up with the mockingbird keeping a close eye on me, I captured the babies waiting to be fed. Again..the cats were not cooperative models.

Early evening now, the cats are finally lounging around like I hoped they would. Crawling on the ground I was able to capture them.

Edits in the new Lightroom version 5.0 have proved to be spectacular. I discovered the new Radial Filter video tutorialΒ and quickly applied it to the cat portraits. I love this new feature and can’t wait to find out what else is new with the upgraded version of Lightroom.

49 replies »

  1. A days job well done that kitty of mine is a Brut No chipmunks it I do not go out with the dog to tell her to STOP! As she grabs ones she heads towards me where I scream DROP it which she does then it is free but runs right at her I shall never have another pet when these two have lived out their lives I am TOO OLD lol

    • It’s good to know I’m not the only one that yells at my pets to “drop it.” It’s mother nature at work. I had chipmunks the first year I moved into my house. The cat I had then fixed that right away. 😦

      • Well she goes for them in the day and night time she grabs unsuspecting field mice no wonder I have so many SNAKES she is eating THEIR FOOD well she never finishes them she leaves them as gifts for ME under my chair outside where I sit in AM with coffee listen to birds and play Frisbee with JT She is a wonderful loving gorgeous cat but a Real Killer 😦

        • lol she is a cute brat though πŸ™‚ I feel so bad but she was a rescue that was going to be drowned at 3 weeks old and had been born in a barn and she loves going outside when the coast is clear we had a red tail hawk slam our french door trying to grab her on the back stoop that put a fright into her not used to being HUNTED some owl got her twin sister you would think she would know better πŸ™‚ Our Vet wants to take her home because she is so loving lol well till she got GIFTS πŸ™‚ I told her πŸ™‚

  2. I’m surprised that neither you or the cats have mockingbird claw marks to show for getting so close to the nest. They are very protective of their young, and think nothing of attacking cats or people.

  3. I just figured out how to add the borders and watermarks to my images via actions in CS 6 and I use it for my resize as it does a cleaner job than Lightroom. Actions are the greatest because its all automated. Just hit the start button and let it rip once you have done it and recorded it. Here is how I learned it via “Uncle Spike” which is not his real name but he’s an amazing photographer. He’s a bit “salty” but he knows what he is talking about, http://www.pattayadays.com/2012/01/the-tweak/. He is why I got into photography to begin with because he made it easy to understand. Then it was down hill from there. He also lives in my favorite place, Thailand.

  4. May I borrow your camera? I have baby Chicadee birds right now on the patio. Me, Lucy and Maurice are off limits right now because the birds are busy in and out feeding the baby or babies? I can’t tell. Tuxedo looks so innocent though. One day, you have to take a picture of your camera to show your gadget, huh?

  5. The mockingbird expressions really say a lot – beautifully captured!! The cats, well who could have imagined that they did not oblige like fashion models?! Love Love Love the post!!

  6. Great set of images Emily, love that second one. I loved the commentary as well, though I don’t understand why the bird is using Lightroom 5? Our cat is an indoor cat and we don’t let him outside, for the safety of the birds. Cats here are killing and making too many bird species extinct, so we don’t let him have a go.

    • That is so interesting that the cat population there is so ferocious that they’re wiping out bird species. That is hard to imagine. Funny on the mockingbird using lightroom. He is a very talented bird.

      • It is actually really devastating, we have to remember that once cats go feral, there are no indigenous animals that will hunt them, as most of the indigenous animals are not hunters, probably the only exception is the Dingo, so there is nothing to keep the numbers down. Really cats and rabbits have done way too much devastation and caused so much damage, introduced species weren’t given a lot of thought. So Tiddles has never killed a bird, and I don’t think ever will.
        He is a very talented bird.

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