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We had a nice 3 days away. Spent Mon in Atlantic City, where I was able to play with only the money the casino sent to me! Then on Tues we drove to Philadelphia, to the Mint, where we turned in the coins Ken had found metal detecting. The Mint has more security checks than ever! Then we took the tour of Independence Hall (more security checks) and the Liberty Bell monument. Saw the remains of the house where Geo. Washington and Ben Franklin once lived. BF introduced gingko trees to Philly; he brought them over from China. They were the brightest, most eye-popping gold you could imagine in their Fall color.

Then we drove back to AC, where we ate their free food and I gambled with the rest of the money sent to me. I ended up bringing home $12 of their money and not spending a penny of my own! I loved it!

My outdoor friends are delighted that I am still feeding them.

It's raining today; all my birds are under cover.

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Your native birds make those sparrows look real dowdy! How are sparrows doing over there? They are suffering a steady decline over here.

We have a great many sparrows, of all different kinds. I have not heard of any threat to them. Why area they declining over there?
The little guys in the pics are House Sparrows. I've also seen a few other types as we've traveled around. I would have to get my bird book out of the r.v. to tell you their names. A few are the White-Crowned, which I've seen here; Lincoln's, in the midwest; Song Sparrow; the rest I would have to look up.

Yes, I was talking about the house sparrow. Showing a sustained decline over here. Recorded in around 90% of gardens in UK in 1995, now only in around 75% this year. Quite a bit of research going on to find out why - possibly due to loss of food - particularly insects when young are in the nest. Ours are thriving - had 43 this morning, but they get fed everyday. Are they regarded as a pest? I think they were introduced to the States? Our revenge for your grey squirrel perhaps!

Not sure about the introduction of the sparrow; I'll have to look it up. We have loads here; they seem to find food even without the feeders. 'Course, we have lots of bugs also. The starlings, which were introduced, are much more abundant and travel in large packs. They and the grackles nest in trees at night and are very noisy. All the grackles and the starlings have gone now, probably gone south for the winter. I find it very interesting that birds, like humans, seem to have regional accents and sound slightly different in other parts of the country.

We have some very nice white squirrels with grey dots on their backs in Florida and some mid-western states. Pretty! I think they were imported also. Don't remember the country.

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