YORK COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — Every morning, our family drops a handful of dried mealworms onto an overturned feed pan. They are, as you may imagine, very popular among the local birds. Once a month I set out a camera, and record the action.

All sorts of birds show up. We get sparrows, wrens, nuthatches, bluebirds, blue jays-even the occasional woodpecker. The behaviors of the birds vary. Some will fly in very quickly, snap up a mealworm, and fly off. Others will land away from the mealworms, cautiously approach the feeder, then hop up and start eating. Others just drop down (literally, there’s a phone line right above the feeder) and gorge themselves until someone comes along and drives them off.

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Over the years we’ve observed that the starlings are the bully boys of the backyard. They will arrive in groups, shove everyone else away, and just mob the feeder, sometimes leaving nothing but mealworm crumbs for everyone else.

The April recording was different. It started normally enough, with a couple of different species coming and going-and then the mockingbird showed up. Right behind it a couple of starlings arrived, no doubt expecting to drive off the mockingbird in the usual fashion.

It didn’t work out that way. Maybe the mockingbird was really, really hungry; maybe it was in a really bad mood about something; maybe it had just had it up to here with the starlings’ pushiness; maybe it was all three. Whatever the reason, this time the mockingbird held its ground and chased the starlings away. Repeatedly. The starlings ended up having to wait their turn until the mockingbird was finished.

Not that we’re supposed to take sides in the interactions of nature, but it was nice to see the starlings get a taste of their own medicine for a change…