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Greetings Birders,

             Last evening was a fun time birding in the backyard. Bluejays,
Cardinals and Mockers were playing in the sprinkler. My Chimney Swifts were
circling the chimney in preparation for their nightly ritual of gathering,
circling and then diving into the chimney.
    My Titmice, Carolina Wrens and House Sparrows were edging closer and
closer to me on the deck, getting bolder, hopefully they will be eating out
of my hands soon.
   Suddenly the flock of Rock Doves who linger up in the pines until they
float down and eat the corn and such that the Blue Jays sweep out of the
feeders, shot into the sky and in a perfect formation were gone in a second
up and over the pines. I then knew something was happening "up there." I
scanned the sky and there was this brave little Blue Jay chasing away the
Coopers Hawk which has been visiting the yard for quite awhile. I think it
likes the looks of those plump Rock Doves. The Jay did his job and was soon
back squawking and telling everyone it was all clear and things settled back
down.
      I must go out at dusk this evening to count my Chimney Swifts, 154 last
count.

     Another "back yard" story. We have been wondering why our "house" cat
"Puddin," who we only let out once after dark for a short time has been
returning to the door wide-eyed and bushy tailed, well we found out last
night when we turned on the porch light. There was the biggest Raccoon on our
deck we had ever seen. So Puddin has been guarding her territory but not
having much luck since the Raccoon outweighs her by about 15 pounds I'd say.
      You don't have to leave your house to be entertained, just put up some
feeders and a sprinkler and sit back and watch the antics.

Pat Baker
Niceville, FL.

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