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Our Feathered Friends - Sept. 14

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By RAY POPE
How many of you still have Hummers at your feeders? There are at least 60 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds here in my small feeding station. After refilling today, I thought that I would just sit still and hold a feeder in my hand to see what would happen. It didnt take but a few seconds before I had one feeding. It would have been great to have had someone to take a picture of that. Eunice Steinson stopped by for a few minutes as I was standing on the front porch between the feeders with Hummers all around my head. She brought me a book to read on birds and a couple of 2012 calendars for the walls. Thanks, Eunice!

Every day I keep a sharp eye out, hoping sometime that I might get a different bird here at my home. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the only Hummer that lives east of the 100th meridian, but there is always a slim chance that another species might one day show up. If you do a lot of weather watching, you will see that a lot of our storms form out in the Gulf of Mexico as tropical storm Lee did and make their way north. There is always a chance of some western bird getting caught up in one of those storms, so keep your eyes open for some winged stranger to show up uninvited.

During spring migration some of the birds that make their way north might just get caught up in one of these type storms. Many years ago over in the Murfreesboro area sharp sighted birdwatchers found a pair of Scissor-tail Flycatchers out in the countryside. These birds live just west of the 100th meridian in a small area of central Texas up to Oklahoma. My son, Jason Pope, and myself took a two-week vacation going through Texarkana and on toward Abilene where we spent our first night. It was 112 degrees there on the last week of June where we saw a small flock of Scissor-tails sitting under a shade tree. I didnt have a decent camera with me, but I did get some video from my brothers camera that he had loaned me for our trip. These special birds would not, on their own, start out on a trip of several hundred miles just to see what is over the next horizon.

Just a couple of hours ago, the backyard seemed to be the place to kick back and enjoy a little quiet time. There were quite a few Hummers hanging out in the old garden area until a Coopers Hawk came winging its way through. In just a quick moment birds scattered in all directions. Im not sure that the Hawk could have caught one even as fast as they are. After watching the Hummers fight, it would take something being able to make quick turns to get one.

I received a very nice letter from Ms. Robin Young who is from the Old Hickory area. She gets The Wilson Post and says she really enjoys reading Our Feathered Friends and other local news. Robin asked me if I had any more trouble with my garden as she has the same trouble with her peach trees. Something that may help is one of those game cameras that is placed out to catch photos of animals or maybe thieves with a motion-sensor trigger. My new sticky fingered friends had better be on their toes and smile, you may be on a candid camera, because when I catch you, I will prosecute you.

I would love to hear from you as to whats lurking about in your neighborhood and at your feeders. You can write me at 606 Fairview Ave., Lebanon, TN, 37087, or call me at 547-7371, or e-mail me at ourfeatheredfriends@yahoo.com

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