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kevin63 said:
These pictures are beautiful. We get the red Cardinal and the bluejay around here. Our hummingbirds are either green or grayish, wish we had some colorful hummingbirds around. In the fall we do bald eagles around the cliffs across the river in Illinois (especially up around Alton). I'd love to see one of those orange Orioles around here.
Kevin,
In early April, I was driving with my Dad from Jacksonville to Quincy. We counted 33 red tailed hawks on the way. They were huge and easy to spot because they would perch in the trees that hadn't leafed out yet.
 

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Dori said:
Beautiful photos. I have never seen a painted bunting. I love watching the birds. I collect Stangl Pottery Birds and have a curio cabinet with about 20 in it.

Dori,
My aunt would send me a Lenox bird for Christmas every year. My collection has really grown over the years. My aunt lives in the country and she puts out about 5 lbs of bird feed daily! She has some happy birds! She is who I based the character of Aunt Jess in my Baling novel. She is a rare gem! :D
 

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A few years ago, we had scrub jays, that's a western version of a blue jay, nest in a tree in our back yard.  I went out there, and apparently got too close to their nest, and one of them dive-bombed me and actually pecked me on the head!  It was such a weird feeling to be attacked by a bird!
 

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Dori,
I also heard 1/4 cup sugar to water ratio.  somehow I got on the 1/3 cup sugar to 1 cup water ratio, and the hummingbirds just flock to my feeders.  I have also seen a honeybee land right on the little hole, and I have seen other birds trying to drink from it - although I don't know how successfully.
One day, the hummingbird kept squeaking, landing on the feeder, sticking his beak in for a second, then flying off squeaking loudly.  I went to the feeder and jiggled it a little - there was a large air bubble preventing him from getting any of the food.  After I jiggled the air bubble out, he came and ate quietly!
 
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