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Posts Tagged ‘smooth sumac’

A patch of sumac berries at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge has providing nourishment for a lot of different birds as we begin the winter winter season. On Tuesday of this week, I photographed a Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) as it partook of the bounty of berries.

The day was cold, but sunny and the blue sky provided a beautiful backdrop for this little portrait of the mockingbird. The bird’s up-turned tail provided a nice visual counterbalance to the angled branch of the sumac plant and the visible berry in the bird’s open mouth was an extra bonus.

This morning as I was doing a little research on the sumac, I finally discovered the name of this type of sumac. I am pretty sure that this is a species know as Smooth Sumac (Rhus glabra). According to the plant database at wildfire.org, Smooth Sumac is the only shrub or tree species native to all 48 contiguous states. I have never been tempted to taste the little berries, but they are reported to be very sour and can be used to make a drink similar to lemonade.

Northern Mockingbird

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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