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Our Feathered Friends - Sept. 7

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By RAY POPE
We should all thank God for this wonderful rain that is coming from down in the Gulf of Mexico. All of my birds here at home were wondering what was going on as they must have forgotten what this water from the sky was all about. I just hope it will not cause gasoline prices to jump.

I finally made the pilgrimage to Mt. Juliet to visit my favorite store, Garrs. Roy Garr was busy helping customers so I waited for him to get un-busy, if thats a real word. I purchased two ant moats to go on my feeder hanging at the kitchen window, and one around front that I hang off the gutter. You have to keep an eye on them so the water will not evaporate or fill up with leaves, giving the ants safe passage over the water. First thing this morning, after some heavy rain, there were ants crawling all over it. Leaves had made bridges which were helping the ants to crawl over.

Something else you can try is to add a small drop of dish detergent to the moat which will cause the surface tension to disappear and small bugs will then drown when they try to cross over. I still need to pick up at least three more.

The last few weeks we were discussing members of the Swallow family which makes their home around the Wilson County area. We may find all the species here, except for two of them. The Cave Swallow will be found out west in the Carlsbad Caverns area along with New Mexico and south central Texas. I dont ever remember hearing of one being found in Tennessee.

The last one is the Violet-Green Swallow )pictured above) which lives out in the Rocky Mountain range towards the west coast of California. Six out of eight birds is not too bad a deal for us southerners.

Back to the Hummers, I would guess that there were maybe 50-plus birds here at my six feeder stations. There are five feeders alone here at my home with fights everywhere. Sometimes one will find a feeder occupied and will move to the other side where it couldnt be seen by the owner. Standing on my front porch, right next to one of my feeders, I was treated to some up close and personal encounters with these little ones. There were three of them who circled my head and you should have heard the noise those tiny wings were singing. Ive never been that close. The buzzing noise was incredible, almost brushing my ears.

If anyone is having trouble finding Hummingbirds, just drive over to my home and park in my driveway and just keep your eyes open; they are very plentiful.

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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