It’s all part of what ornithologists say is a unique habit among mockingbirds, male and female, to establish and defend “second” territories in fall and winter, mostly around autumn food sources such as pokeberry bushes laden with berries. Most other non-migrating songbirds such as robins and cardinals lose their antagonism during fall and winter and form congenial flocks for security and help in finding food during the cold months.
Some studies suggest that male mockingbirds might even use song to acquire mates in the fall instead of waiting until spring. This may allow them to begin nesting as early as possible in spring, which would give them more time to raise three or more broods during the breeding season.
IN THE SKY: From David Dundee, Tellus Science Museum astronomer: The moon will be full on Friday night (Sept. 14), the Harvest Moon. The only two planets visible now are Jupiter in the southwest around dusk and Saturn rising in the south just after dark. Saturn will appear near the moon on Sunday night.