Monday, June 07, 2021

To Kill A Mockingbird

 No, not the novel.

Belle has been having a running battle with a mockingbird that thinks our backyard is his/her personal domain.  That bird harasses the cats, swoops down on Belle, and generally makes herself a nuisance.  Belle doesn't like mockingbirds to start with, and this one has gotten on her last nerve.

Yesterday, that bird was being a pest, and Belle says, rhetorically, "I need a BB gun."

I looked at her, and asked, "Really?:

"Yean", she says.  "That bird can't take a hint.  I need a BB gun."

When I was a stripling youth, I had a Crossman pellet rifle.  It was a wood-and-steel model, and it pumped up and I shot all manner of varmint with it.  Squirrels, blackbirds, starlings, that sort of thing.  I carried it and shot it for years, until it was completely worn out, and I had graduated to bigger weapons.

So, today I hied myself down to Wally-world and found a Crossman.  The Legacy 1000.  It comes with an el-cheapo scope. Really, a horrible little scope.  While my old Crossman was wood-and-steel, this one is plastic-and-plastic.  I suppose there is some steel in it somewhere.  And, I picked up some pellets.

It works like my old rifle.  Pump it to the desired level and load a pellet.  I checked the manual and it tells me that two pumps is about 550 fps, which should be sufficient for an errant mockingbird.  

Then, because I was in the shop and couldn't help myself, I took down an old campaign sign, put it against a steel backer, and let fly.  Three shots at 30 feet.

That's one ragged hole.  Not bad for a cheap rifle, a horrible scope, and an old man with bad eyes.

I'll teach Belle how to use it this afternoon.  I believe that the mockingbird just got a whole new set of problems.


Old NFO said...

Heh, that'll work! And yes, mockingbirds WILL try to take over, if one lets them...

Bob said...

Generally a mockingbird only harasses people when there is a nest with eggs and/or nestlings nearby. If you shoot the parent bird you condemn the babies to an early grave.

Don McCollor said...

(Don McCollor)...At a rummage sale in my early teens (early 60's) I acquired a Sheridan pump air rifle (cheap, as the seller had issues with a neighbor about the latter's dog). Beautiful wood stock, rifled, firing 5mm boat-tailed pellets. Almost as good as a 22 up to 100 feet. And found other things that would fit down the barrel (like firecrackers at the end lit before firing and wooden farmer's matches (ignite on impact)...

Anonymous said...

Good hunting. Several years back, we had a mockingbird nesting in a tree in our city park that demonstrated the same tendencies. Damn bird. Our problem is the Mockingbird is the Texas state bird and it is agin' the law to shoot them.

Termite said...

Tennis racquet. Let Belle practice her back-swing.

Good exercise, too.

Stuart said...

There are many generations of Mockingbirds living in my yard that peacefully coexist with my family EXCEPT when there are young in the nest. Given the time of year, that may be the cause of your problem also.