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painted bunting
I think I have solved the 'squirrels climbing on my bird feeders and eating all the seeds' problem. Ken and I went to Lowes and bought a 10' length of pvc pipe. Cut into 2 pieces and sliced open vertically, we wrapped them around the thin rods of the shephard's crooks. Now the squirrels cannot get their tiny little paws around the larger pipe and are reduced to eating the fallen seeds off the ground! Just so they won't starve, I've bought a second hanging dish feeder and I'll mount it on a short shephard's crook, so they can jump up to it and feast in peace.
Everybody's happy!

I saw a great number of birds on our trip, but only one new one, in FL, of all places, where I thought I would never see any new birds. Here he is; not a good pic but the only one I could get; I never saw him again.
The Prothonotary Warbler
Pileated Woodpecker, the largest one we have. He was right outside our r.v. window.
The Yellow-rumped Warbler! (Wonder why they call him that)?
White-throated Sparrow
Barn Swallow
A mated pair of Ospreys
the lovely Blue Jay
Yellow-shafted Flicker
Brown Thrasher
Laughing Gull, seen in a parking lot of a strip mall
Female Red Breasted Merganser
Eastern Towhee
Willet with Sanderlings
Horned Grebe
This was a new bird also, though I didn't realize it until just now, when I looked him up in my new bird book, which has photos instead of drawings.
The back of the Eastern Towhee; pretty tail.
female Red-cockaded Woodpecker

Now that I'm home, I'm hoping for migrants or occasionals or albinos to supplement my usual home birds!

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American birds. Some we share with you (osprey, merganser), others like the woodpeckers are very similar to ours. Then you go and pull something like a towhee out the bag - totally different!

Towhees are so pretty and they have a piercing whistle which helps me to locate them in the wild.

I was really excited to see 2 new birds, though and in FL! Didn't think FL had any new birds to offer me.

The Pileated was just as close to me as the pic makes him look; there are a lot of them in this one N.C. campground.

The best birds I've seen are the Vermilion Flycatchers, the Scissor-Tailed Flycatchers, the Roadrunner and the Spoonbill.

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