This morning I was getting all National Geographic on my backyard, and this mocking bird starting shrieking and flying from tree top to rooftop. I assumed it was because the cat had come outside with me, and I started trying to snap its picture. A pair of hawks swooped overhead, so my theory about the cat shifted to the hawks. The mockingbird's young must have been out and she was trying to protect them. She finally roosted (still shrieking) in a nearby magnolia and I got one blurred photo and was just about to get another when she took off and next thing I knew, she was screaming in my face... or at least it felt that way since I was looking at her through a 24x optical zoom and the noise was coming from only 5 feet away. I didn't wet myself, but if there ever were a moment, this would have been it.
Me? She was yelling at me? The cat crouched nervously near me with absolutely no intention of pouncing. I never saw the fledglings, but given the radius she was circling, I'm guessing they were out of the nest and making their debut in the 'hood. From the picture, it's obvious she means serious business. I kept the camera to my eyes so she wouldn't peck them out.