I am not an ornithologist, entomologist, or zoologist, but I can recognize a jerk no matter the creature. Whether humans, dogs, cats, or insects, if you have an attitude, I'm calling you out.

A dozen years ago, our family moved out to the country. Through observation, I've noticed that for the most part, creatures in my backyard are pretty easygoing. Even those guys that have gotten a bad rap such as bees, wasps, and snakes tend to leave you alone as long as you do the same.

However, some critters are all about the drama

After many years of back porch observations, I've concluded that some critters are just bullies. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. We have our fair share in the human world, why should the animal kingdom be any different?

So, here's my non-scientific rundown of the 5 biggest jerks in a typical Texas backyard. They lead the way in unprovoked actions of mean-spiritedness

Top Five Texas Backyard Bullies

Blue Jays (jerkis venti)

Blue Jay sitting on a Tree Branch

How could something so beautiful, be such a terror?

Angry Blue Jay

Yeah, this is a picture that better represents the conniving bully that is the blue jay.

I once saw several blue jays dive bomb a service dog to the point where the dog ran away, leaving a blind man to fend for himself. Okay, maybe that's not entirely true, but, if given the chance, blue jays would do it.

Native American legends depict the blue jay as a trickster, that would form alliances with foxes and coyotes (not making that part up). So, it appears that blue jays have a long history of not being trustworthy.

I think of the blue jay as the Johnny Tyler of the bird world. You know, the arrogant blowhard from the movie 'Tombstone'. I picture blue jays going around verbally abusing others and slapping around birds and squirrels.

We just need a Wyatt Earp bird to throw out the blue jay by its beak.

Northern Mockingbird (Squawkus Eternus)

Suzanne D Williams via Unsplash
Suzanne D Williams via Unsplash

Let me first state that I'm a proud native Texan, and throwing shade on the state bird of Texas may be as controversial as wearing a straw cowboy hat after Labor Day. But, mockingbirds can be massive jerks.

Mockingbirds are unbelievably talented. They can impersonate the calls of 71 birds including three that are extinct (once again, don't fact-check me).

I once watched a mockingbird stare down a cat. The bird raised its left wing and slowly pulled it across its neck, signifying to the cat what would happen if it came closer to its nest.

I get it, many birds are protective of their nests. But, mockingbirds take that to a ridiculous level. If you walk within a zip code of their nest, they will attack.

Dragonfly (Bulgis Opticalis)

Thank the Good Lord that he didn't put a stinger on this guy.

Jude Infantini via Unsplash
Jude Infantini via Unsplash

We have a pond in our pasture, and whenever I walk the banks or go fishing, dragonflies will swoop down on me.

"If I had a stinger, you'd be dead." I know that's what they're thinking. I can see it in their big, buggy eyes.

Colin Davis via Unsplash
Colin Davis via Unsplash

Dragonflies prove that Small Man Syndrome is not only a human trait.

Fun Fact: Dragonflies are called the devil's darning needles, which comes from the superstition that they will sew shut the eyes, ears, or mouth of a sleeping child.

Fire Ant (Geaux Suckus Amdro)

According to Ben Franklin, there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. If you live in Texas during the summer, you can add one more certainty...you WILL be stung by a fire ant.


Even if you can avoid every fire ant mound for the summer, there will always be that one that will find your ankle or a space between your toes. Unprovoked or not, these bullies take pride in causing welts in human flesh.

Fire ants are the Liam Neeson of the insect world. I think this sign is posted inside every mound:  I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. But, I have a stinger that makes me a nightmare for people like you. I will look for you, I will find you, and I will sting you. 

Squirrel (Nuttus Bombus)


Say what!? How could something as cute as this furry guy be considered a bully? That's what I used to think until I walked under an oak tree with a squirrel perched somewhere on a limb.

Apparently, squirrels have a gambling problem. That's because they like to bet their buddies that they can hit a human, dog or cat with an acorn, or even something larger.

At first, I thought it was just a coincidence or a freakish wind gust that caused nuts to cause mini-craters around me. Then, I looked up and saw the malice in a squirrel's eyes, and the acorns in his hands.

It was premeditated and he had no regrets. That's a bully in my book.  I wonder how many flattened squirrels on the roads had acorns in their hands ready to launch them at the grill of an oncoming car.

Why Not Mosquitoes?


Female mosquitoes bite us out of necessity. They need our blood for the reproductive viability of their eggs.

Mosquitoes are a nuisance, and ugly, and I love the sight of a smashed mosquito in the palm of my hands when I clap them to death. However, I cannot consider them a bully since they are only sucking our blood for the continuance of their species.

Similarly, that's why lawyers didn't make the list.

What About Lovebugs?

Mating pair of black and red lovebugs on a green leaf

Love bugs get a free pass from me in the bully department. Its lifespan is 3-4 days, shorter if you count the ones on windshields.

Anything with a lifespan shorter than a Dallas Cowboys playoff run should get some leniency concerning its behavior.

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