Hi all:

Don't forget about the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend,
Friday through Monday.  All the details are on the Cornell web site
at     Check out the site before Friday
to read about past results, instructions for submitting, etc.

It's fun to watch the map "grow" as checklists are submitted.  They
update it every few hours throughout the weekend.   You can also
easily check other states and cities to find out what birds are
being reported elsewhere.   New this year will be a photo gallery of images
of birds seen during the count.  That information is also on
the web site.

 From their publicity message:

>* To celebrate this year's theme, "North America's Great Backyard,"
>we encourage you to visit your national parks and other public lands
>during the GBBC. This year, you can choose to enter your data by
>town, postal code, or national public lands--including national
>parks and forests, provincial parks, wildlife refuges, and air force

I'm still seeing some good winter birds in my yard. I hope they'll
make an appearance this weekend:  Western Tanager, 6 Baltimore Orioles,
4 Purple Finches (2 male, 2 female--highly irregular at the feeders),
Siskins (occasionally), Rufous and Rubythroat hummers, Orange-crowned
warbler, and others.

The Blue Jays, of course, imitate the Red-shouldered and Red-tailed
hawks all the time.  But this morning I laughed to hear an early
imitation of a Mississippi Kite! (a 2-syllable whistle which I hear
almost daily in mid-summer when the Kites are overhead)
In my bird diary, I've found a note for Feb. 12, 2000, of "mockingbird
imitating Red-eyed Vireo", and on March 5, 2000, "blue jay imitating
Miss. Kite and Red-shouldered hawk".  I'm always amazed to hear
the mockers and jays imitating the summer birds far in advance.
Listen up, and don't be fooled!


Fran C. Rutkovsky
Tallahassee, FL
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