A Merry Christmas To All Of Us

Ray Pope

A Merry Christmas To All Of Us | Anthony Gray, Liz Franklin, Bailey Stearman

Female Cardinal by Bailey Stearman

First of all I would like to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas. Many thanks to you all that have sent me Christmas cards and especially an extra added note from Charlene Reeves from down Norene way. Charlene was telling me about the birds at her home that shows up around her feeders.

Several members of the Woodpecker family have been visiting her almost daily. Downy, Northern Flicker, and even a Red-headed Woodpecker have made their way to her home. The Northern Flicker is also known as a Yellow-shafted Flicker. She is passing her love of our feathered friends down to her grandson Neel Reeves, who comes by after school to help keep her bird feeders topped off, and a little spilled underneath for the ground scratchers. I got to meet Neel a couple years ago at The Wilson Post Booth at the Wilson County Fair.

On her farm down in Norene, there is a pond that has "oodles" of cattails on one side. When you have cattails growing in water, you will find Red-winged Blackbirds nesting there. The Red-wings are also a welcome sight to the feeders. Lots of other visitors there include, Carolina Wrens, White-breasted Nuthatch, Tufted Titmouse, and Dark-eyed Juncos.

Charlene was asking me if I knew of any way to keep a hungry hawk away. Once a bird of prey finds a plentiful food source, they will hang around picking off the birds that don't pay enough attention to their surroundings. Crows will mod a Hawk and that does help to keep them away, but there are times when the Crows are not there to run interference for the smaller birds. Hawk are feeders of opportunity, usually catching their dinner by surprise. Sorry, Charlene, I am not too much help on this problem.

When Anthony Gray and myself are on one of our bird safaris down toward Norene, maybe we can stop in for a visit and see what else might be lurking around the Reeves homestead. There are lots of different species that will keep their distance from homes and just take advantage of the natural foods available in their domain. It would be interesting to see what else might be in hiding.

The picture that will run with this weeks article is courtesy of my good friend Liz Franklin's Granddaughter, Bailey Stearman. Bailey is 10 years old and goes to school at Caroll-Oakland and is also on the basketball team there. Liz is passing on her love of photography along with her passion for the birds to Bailey, who seems to have a knack with Liz's Camera. Liz has other Granddaughters that also like to watch the birds out her kitchen window.

I won't have any special stories for you this weekend as it will most likely be raining cats and dogs on Saturday. After Peking, we might just come back to my home and watch out the back window where some of my birds will be wading the water just to eat lunch.

Sometimes you have friends, and even good friends. There are times when you are truly blessed with a great friend. I am thankful to God that I have a special friend by the name of Roy Garr. Roy had to bend to the business pressures of not being able to compete with some of these large warehouse stores. Those of us who knew him personally will miss his wonderful place of business in Mt. Juliet. Thank you Roy, for being my friend.

I would love to hear from you as to what's lurking about in your neighborhood and at your feeders. You can write me at, 606 Fairview Ave., Lebanon, TN, 37087, or e-mail me at, rpope15@bellsouth.net