Oh, Boy! It’s a Girl!

The Beautiful AP and I have two parrots. Our oldest is a Quaker Parrot, Augustus, about 25 (give or take), and our youngest Mr. Squeaky, a Green-Cheeked Conure, is about 10 years old. We’ve had Squeaky for seven years. He’s a rescue.

Mr. Squeaky, named by his original owners, took about three years to get the hang of living with us. He didn’t like stepping up on our fingers; instead, he preferred to jump onto our arms. You also couldn’t hug and kiss him as you could with Augustus, a feathered sponge, absorbing affection by the gallon. It took years for my wife to teach Mr. Squeaky to give individual kisses without drawing blood.

I just chat with them since they reside in my office where I spend most of my day. I think of them as my “little birds Fauntleroy.” They have the good life for sure—gourmet-level food, open cages, ahum, Daddy as company, while Mommy works outside the home.

We’re one big happy flock.

Augustus is madly in love with the Beautiful AP. Mr. Squeaky is in love with me. But Mr. Squeaky is even more in love with Augustus.

From Mr. Squeaky’s first day with us, he had his eyes on Augustus. He’d sidle over to Augustus and perch next to him. Augustus ignored him. Augustus was secure in his place as the Alpha Bird…the Alpha Bein—so this new young bird was nothing to him.

Through days, weeks, and months—two years to be exact—Squeaky would actively court Augustus. Augustus was unmoved.

When the Beautiful AP would feed the birds in the morning, Squeaky would go into Augustus’s cage and gobble his food—but Augustus retaliated by simply waltzing into Mr. Squeaky’s cage to polish off Mr. Squeaky’s food. The food is exactly the same.

The only thing Mr. Squeaky did that did not require any attention from anyone was to have sex with everything in and around him: his cage, top, left, right, bottom; his food dish; Augustus’s food dish; the perches, the handles to the cages, and his various toys and bells. A horny young fella, he had sex through the day and night.

Finally, Augustus had an epiphany. He realized that he could spend his days being groomed by this new servant! No reciprocation necessary.  Augustus learned to simply bend his head to signal Mr. Squeaky to start grooming. Augustus sparkles more and more with each passing day.

Now these two guys rub against each other, kiss (yes, full-beak kisses!) and stay close all day long. Except, that is, when Mr. Squeaky goes off to have sex with some inanimate object, or when they fly onto my head to bask in my bushy, nest-like COVID-19 hair.

And so, there they are, our two beloved gay birds.

This morning the Beautiful AP said to me. “I have a big surprise for you. It’s in the refrigerator.”

“A chocolate pudding pie?” I asked.

“Guess again,” she said.

“Is it something to eat?”

She thought a second, “Technically yes, but probably not.”

I laughed. “Augustus laid an egg?”


“Not Augustus,” she said.

“You’ve got to be kidding me!”

She opened the refrigerator. A shot glass held a little white egg with a sign exclaiming, “OMG!”

“Mr. Squeaky is a girl,” we said simultaneously. At the age of 10, he, meaning she, laid her first egg.

Now, everything makes sense. The sex we thought Mr. Squeaky was having was not that of a male fertilizing an egg, it was of a female receiving fertilization! The hours spent grooming Augustus is probably a wifely duty.

All these years Mr. Squeaky knew she was a girl. We were the ones who saw him as male…and still think of him as male, despite the evidence before our eyes. Perhaps in the future, we’ll adjust to the news and call him, or rather, her… Ms. Squeaky. Right now, we’re simply creatures of habit.

Mr. Squeaky Lays an Egg


The Meaning of Cardinals

People are always looking for the meaning of life.

Indeed, people are usually looking for the meaning of everything. Brilliant people such as Einstein and Stephen Hawking are looking; stupid people such as conspiracy theorists are also looking. Conspiracy theorists think they have found it in some powerful plotting person or some powerful plotting group of people.

I’m looking too. I am looking and I have been looking since I was 17 years old which was long, long ago. Have I found it? No.

Many people have looked to birds to find such meaning. Birds fly not only in the sky but in our dreams, fantasies and desires. In our fears too. Many human beings look to birds for omens and information about everyday things.

We all know the dire meaning from the arrival of a Blackbird, Raven or Crow into our lives. In short, make sure you have your funeral expenses paid for yourself and perhaps for grandma, if you see one of these birds.

In stories, poems and friendly gossip you can see the strength of the bird superstition in the world from the distant past right up until the present; when your neighbor found one of those black birds dead on his stoop that could be a frightening moment. Much of bird mythology is upsetting but some bird myths are quite nice.

Many religious Christians love the story of the White Dove descending above Jesus’ head as a symbol of peace between God and man. In Judaism, the Eagle protecting her young was a symbol of God’s love and protection of his people.

While the Owl is often thought as the symbol for wisdom, it is also associated with the evils of ancient witchcraft. It was also associated with the devil. I love Owls so I am a little afraid of throwing my lot with them.

My favorite small bird is the colorful Cardinal, a family of which resides in the bushes in my Japanese garden. I see them every day, even in the coldest winters.

There is a strong myth connecting Cardinals and death—a good myth thank heavens, because it’s bad enough that I love Owls. I don’t want to become too popular with Satan.

If someone you loved, admired or simply liked recently passed away, the visitation of a Cardinal is thought to not only symbolize that person but for many believers it is thought to be a short-term reincarnation of that deceased person sending the message that he or she is all right and is thinking about you.

I do not know how many birders believe any of these myths but the good myths, meaning the ones that are uplifting as opposed to horrifying, could be comforting for them.

My Cardinals visit me every day. At this stage of my life, I have many relatives, friends and acquaintances who have passed on.  Maybe all those visits are in fact loving messages for me.



One “Flu” Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

There is something so beautiful that can carry something else that is so ugly that hundreds of millions of people have died from it.

The birds. The flu.

In all its shapes and configurations, the flu has attacked humanity for as long as humanity has existed. The ancient Greeks wrote about the wreckage flu could inflict on people. Young men, in fact, their best warriors, could sniffle on a Monday and die that Sunday.

We saw this in 1918 with the Spanish Flu. Over 50 million people, many strong, young men, our own warriors, heading not for the glory of battle but for their eternal rest from a tortuous disease. There is no glory in coughing up your life.

According to Audubon magazine, wild birds, “mostly shore birds such as Red Knots, Ruddy Turnstones, Dunlins, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Sanderlings, HerrIng Gulls, and Laughing Gulls,” among others, bring something to us other than their beauty. According to a recent study some 60 percent of birds that wend their way to Delaware Bay in the United States have some form of the flu virus.

Indeed, these birds carry some 150 different strains of the flu. Luckily, for us, only a small percentage have been shown to affect people. Still, those yearly bouts of the flu that cause aches, pains, and death, have probably come from birds, often through beloved meats such as pork and chicken, as we’ll see.

In fact, there seems to be an ancient world business practice that spews various viruses; these are called “wet markets” and they can be found throughout China.

In filthy conditions, wild animals such as bats and various species of birds, and rodents and lizards and monkeys spend their days waiting to be sold for food and also crapping on each other’s heads and through the bars of each other’s cramped cages. A great birthing ground for viruses of many types.

The greatest host of the flu are chickens but not from the Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket. No, these are home grown in Asia and eaten with exotic creatures that might turn a Westerner’s stomach inside out.

With third-world nations hungering to join the first-world, their population’s hunger for chicken dinners has increased markedly. Such growth in the chicken-eating population is a symbol and a measure of a society’s cultural growth. And with that growth comes the growth of the chicken population in those countries.

There are several vectors for in-flu-encing people. Here’s one: the virus can go from wild bird to chickens and/or bats, to pigs and then to us. Most of you reading this probably remember the fears over “swine flu” and “bird flu” from some years ago. Well, COVID-19 probably took that route from the wet markets to the world’s human immune system with devastating results for humans.

How do we stop the spread of the flu?

The first step is for the governments of the countries where wet markets thrive to close them down or, at the very least, categorize what foods they are allowed to sell and the level of cleanliness needed for proprietors, their goods, and property.

Do I think these precautions will happen in my lifetime?


In fact, I think I am chirping on the wrong shore when it comes to such reforms.

[Squirrel alert: In a former column I wrote about feeding peanuts to squirrels who frequent my backyard. Stop! SSAS member Diana Ihmann got in touch with me and told me that squirrels have allergic reactions to peanuts. So, my wife the Beautiful AP, and I have stopped feeding our squirrels peanuts.]


Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores.

Those Annoying Mourning Doves


Let me lay this flat out: I hate Mourning Doves. I know some sensitive types do not like to hear (or read) anyone exclaiming, “I hate” this, that or the other thing. But I can’t help it any more. I’m over the edge with these birds.

I always thought Doves were signs of peace. I mean I have seen paintings of Jesus with a dove flying over his head. But evidently that only reflects the white doves, of which I know almost nothing since I have never seen them outdoors.

I kid you not; the Mourning Doves are anything but peaceful. They are closer to warrior birds than harbingers of love and peace. If one were hovering over Jesus’ head, well, his hair would not survive it.

My wife the Beautiful AP and I enjoy sitting on our deck whenever the weather and our schedules permit. It’s our pandemic oasis.

We put our parrots’ leftover seed in small clumps spread along the 20-foot railing to feed the birds and squirrels, creating individual portions for our feathered and furry guests. We set the conditions for a peaceful activity for all concerned.

We sit about five feet from the railing and enjoy nature. We talk to the birds and the squirrels—and each other—and everyone seems happy. Except when those darned Mourning Doves arrive. Then our little visiting Sparrows, Cardinals, Tufted Titmice, and Catbirds, get edgy. Our infrequent Blue Jays will take off too.

The first Mourning Dove will appear in the tree overlooking the deck. He will then land on the railing and start feeding. He doesn’t bother any of the other birds—yet. Once the Mourning Doves appear, the squirrels tend to head into the bushes that line the deck. I never knew that squirrels were so skittish.

Then you hear the others overhead, a flock of Mourning Doves. Their wings make a signature sound, a squeak that calls for some WD-40, a sound I have come to despise. They plant themselves in the trees and stare at the deck. Now a second Mourning Dove lands on the railing. The small birds take to the air and land in various bushes and trees on our property to witness the descent of the doves and the abrupt end of their feast.

When the second Mourning Dove alights on the railing and although yards away from that first one—the battle begins. The first bird launches himself at the second bird. He does not want any other Mourning Dove to have any of that 20-foot smorgasbord. So, they open their wings and do battle. They flap like crazy against each other, bullying and battling until one loses and flies off.

While that battle rages, more Mourning Doves alight on the railing. The all-out wars begin. Usually the ones on the rail can chase the new arrivals away but some of the newcomers are pretty tough and they flap, flap, flap their wings at the early-bird diners.

These battles scatter the seeds and peanuts (peanuts are for the squirrels) all over the place. Into the yard, onto the deck. Our carefully-laid buffet for the birds is flung hither and yon. Essentially, the Mourning Doves fight until the food is no longer on the railing.

Some time later, the Mourning Doves flock to the roof of our house and then they fly off to war at some other place.

I propose that we officially change the name from Mourning Dove to Annoying Dove. Will you sign my petition?

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores.



The Beautiful AP and I were outside checking on the damage that some fallen branches had caused on our property due to the storm Isaias. I am on one side of our house; she is on the other side of our house.

A fence was hit with a large branch right near the bedroom side of the house. “There’s a totally broken fence over here,” I shouted. “Destroyed the fence and just missed the bedroom by about a foot too.”

“There’s Shweetie asking for food over here,” she shouted.

“Shweetie was on the deck’s railing yesterday asking me for food,” I shouted back. I did give him some seeds yesterday.

We named him Shweetie because almost all Cardinals are shweeties. But this one was our special one.

“Hi Shweetie,” laughed AP.

I went around to that side of the house and sure enough there was Shweetie, the Cardinal, standing on our gutter looking down at us and squawking.

But we needed to check the house so we walked around it. Shweetie followed us around the whole house. He was on the gutters and we were on the ground. Shweetie made sure we were always within sight and sound.

“We have to feed him,” said AP. So when we got to the deck at the back of the house, AP went inside and brought out some seed. Shweetie was on the railing, waiting patiently, about five feet from us. I was talking to him; asking him about his day and how his family was getting along.

When he saw AP approaching with the bowl of food he hopped onto the branch of a nearby bush. Although Shweetie knew us from weeks of contact, since we’d talk to him gently as if he were a member of our household, he was a wild bird and still a bit leery of us.

Shweetie was not like the pigeons in New York City or the gulls in almost all shore towns; such birds have little fear of people. In fact, they will steal food right from your hand you if you aren’t paying any attention.

The Beautiful AP and I sit on our deck almost daily during the COVID shutdown and one day he joined us. Now after months of his daily visits we have met his whole family consisting of Mrs. Shweetie, and his three juvenile daughters.

Shweetie feeds them in the bushes, trees and right on the railing of our deck. He spends hours eating seeds and then regurgitating them into his children’s beaks. The children quiver when he approaches them. Interestingly enough, Mrs. Shweetie has not done any feeding. She is also more skittish than Shweetie, but I think the juveniles take us as part of the landscape.

We delight in their presence and find their family meals more entertaining than anything on Netflix.

“Why don’t people have Cardinals as pets?” I asked. “These birds are absolutely beautiful. The male’s red and black coloration is amazing. Their songs are great too.”

So we looked it up. Cardinals are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Cardinals cannot be sold as cage birds as they were over a century ago.

Sadly, in the wild Shweetie will probably live only three years. In captivity he could live almost two decades.

As I write this I hear the call of Shweetie outside my window. He has a family to feed and the Beautiful AP and I are ready to help him out. It’s the least we can do for our friend.

Photos by Alene Scoblete

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores.

The Proof is in the Pooping


I assume all animals and birds on Earth poop. It seems obvious that what goes in, must in some way, shape, or form, go out. Certainly that is true of my two parrots, Augustus and Mr. Squeaky. Each poops. But their poops are quite different.

Augustus, a Quaker Parrot, age 23 (or so), is an old guy smack in the middle in his twilight years. Mr. Squeaky, a Green-Cheeked Conure, is a youngster at about nine years old.

They get along, mostly, as Squeaky has taken to grooming Augustus. You’ve never seen a groomer like Squeaky. He should open a salon. Augustus looks great; he’s clean and glowing.

Their cages are right next to each other in my office. They each like to go into the other’s cage and eat his food even though the food is exactly the same. But here’s the rub: their poops are radically different. How can that be? Same food in; different poop out.

My wife, the Beautiful AP, and I have labeled Augustus a stealth pooper. That’s because whenever he flies and lands somewhere he plops out a big wet white poop. If he lands on your shoulder, plop; your arm, plop; the chair or couch, plop; the top of his cage plop, on top of your head, plop. He’s been this way all his life. My wife trails him and cleans up after him. I do too.

Mr. Squeaky is different. He is a shy pooper. In the morning as his cage is being cleaned, AP has to coax him to poop by saying, “Where’s that big poop? Big poop. Come on, big poop!” He waits until the Beautiful AP turns her back on him before he goes, then gets positive reinforcement. “Oh, look at that big poop! That’s a good bird.”

Squeaky is a clean pooper. When he flies around the house, he doesn’t plop whenever and wherever he lands. He holds it in and just goes off the top of his cage onto the floor. He wasn’t trained to do this. It’s just his preference. Actually, birds in the wild like to keep their nests clean, so they aim to poop outside the nest.

Not us.

We humans have pooped too, but our wastes are of all kinds with devastating impacts. We have dumped so much non-biodegradable plastics in landfills and oceans that we’ve created mountains on land and islands in the ocean composed of this harmful product of human genius.

We have carcinogenic chemicals sloshing in the water and floating through the air, along with industrial wastes flowing in rivers; plus lead and other heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, nickel and mercury; along with nitrates, pesticides, variously tainted sediments—all of these with pathogens from our own personal plops churning in our beach waters.

We, meaning you and me and humanity, have a choice. We can be Augustus, despoiling everywhere we are and everywhere we land; or we can be Squeaky, relatively clean and contained.

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobel, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores.  


Bird is the Word


They don’t just fly over your house; they have flown into our vocabulary too. Not often for good reasons; not often for bad reasons.

In England young women are often referred to as birds. In the United States and Canada, young women are often called chicks. Women who have passed their peek are often referred to as old hens or old crows.

If someone keeps repeating something over and over we can refer to that person as a parrot. If your acquaintance is a stuck up, classless idiot, you might refer to him or her as a popinjay or a peacock.

Someone who is considered stupid is often called a bird brain. However, someone who is smart can be called a wise-old owl. But if someone is scared you call that person a chicken or chicken shit. If someone thinks of himself as sexually desirable, he pictures himself cock of the walk.

People who are crazy can be called loons or cuckoos. Or maybe they just go to Florida in the winter and are called snowbirds. Someone who uses cocaine is often called a snowbird as well. Someone who lives in Florida and also uses cocaine is called a dodo.

Throughout our country we have many supposed health experts who are really just quacks. Quacks are the magpies of medicine as they are stealing your money selling bird poop. Be an early bird and don’t let them ruffle your feathers.

If you go to quacks you’d better be eagle-eyed and watch them like a hawk so they don’t steal from you. If they do steal from you then go to the police and sing like a nightingale about their thievery. Maybe these people will be arrested and put in a birdcage so they can’t fly the coop.

The character of Mr. Potter in my favorite movie It’s a Wonderful Life was a vulture and certainly deserved the title of old coot. He was probably pigeon-toed too. He was a man who ate like a pig because he could not actually eat like a bird because, in reality, birds eat a lot! I don’t know if Mr. Potter liked to wet his beak from the expensive wines he enjoyed drinking.

I really wished George Bailey, the lead character in the movie, didn’t give a hoot about Mr. Potter but George acted like a silly goose by trying to borrow money from Mr. Potter. Yes, Mr. Potter was always feathering his nest with other people’s money. That man was a bad egg.

By the end of the movie George Bailey was flying like a bird when he found out how many friends he had and, hopefully, all the viewers truly hoped that Mr. Potter would wind up with a severe case of thrush at the end.

Frank Scoblete’s website is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores.

Good Books Defeat Virus

So you’ve been wandering through your house or apartment, looking to elevate your life from this coronavirus pandemic that has changed everything for every one of us. If you have kids you are at the stage where you are considering building a catapult and shooting them into “the wild blue yonder.”

Stop! I think I can help you, and maybe even your pre-jettisoned kids, by offering a reading and viewing list for you to check out. Most of the books are available on kindle or e-books but one isn’t – but so what? A good read is worth a good amount of money!

Wings for My Flight: the Peregrine Falcons of Chimney Rock by Marci Cottrell Houle (available on kindle): My favorite bird book of the 61 I’ve read thus far. It is a gripping true-life story. I’ve read it twice.

Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien (available on kindle): A woman, an owl, and love. A fun, heartwarming and instructive story about the saving grace between a human and an avian. My second favorite bird book.

The next books are in no particular order but all of them are worth a read:

The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman (available on kindle): If you have a parrot, you know how intelligent birds can be. This book will take you through the best and brightest of the winged world.

Fastest Things on Wings: Rescuing Hummingbirds in Hollywood by Terry Masear (available on kindle): Hummingbirds are amazing creatures but life in the big city can be rough on them. Terry tells fascinating tales of how she has worked to save hundreds of birds in deep danger.

The Delightful Horror of Family Birding by Eli J. Knapp (available on kindle): He loves birds; he loves his kids. This book combines them.

A Season on the Wind: Inside the World of Spring Migration by Kenn Kaufman (available on kindle): The farthest I ever drove was eight hours, a few hundred miles in total. Now look at how far birds can go – amazing! This book shows you what migration is all about. I would never have made it as a bird.

Mrs. Moreau’s Warbler: How Birds Get Their Names by Stephen Moss (available on kindle): I have always been fascinated by names. This book is a fun read that explores where our favorite birds came to be called what they are called.

Birds of Prey: Hawks, Eagles, Falcons and Vultures of North America by Pete Dunne with Kevin T. Karlson (available on kindle): I make no bones about it; I love raptors! They own the sky. They are the true royalty of birds. Pete Dunne takes us right inside their world.

Birds’ Eggs by Michael Walters: No, kids, these are not eggs to be thrown on Halloween. Eggs come in all colors and varieties. Beautiful look at the beginnings of a bird’s life.

Visit Frank’s web site at www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, kindle, e-books and at bookstores.




For the Birds


The critically acclaimed movie Birdman (or The Unexpected Value of Ignorance) starring Michael Keaton (a good actor) won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Here is the totality of my opinion, in short, this 2014 movie stunk. Even its long subtitle stunk.

It really stunk, as pigeon poop can stink from those city birds who value their own ignorance of the whole thing they are doing perhaps on your head while you walk under an overpass and – okay, let’s leave it at that; the movie stunk!

Birdman takes its place alongside another movie that gained huge critical raves, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring which was released in 2004. This South Korean movie was supposed to be a profound look at a young monk being shepherded by an old monk during all the seasons.

Saying it is “slow-moving” makes this movie seem to be going fast. It is slower than slow, although (if I recall correctly) we do get to see a bird flying overhead during the movie’s interminable length. That bird was damn exciting.

So how is it that film critics can glorify movies that should never have made it out of their canisters to be put into projectors to frazzle normal folks such as me and my wife, the Beautiful AP? This is one of the great mysteries of my life, along with the origin of the universe.

Seriously, am I so behind in my intellectual capacity that I can’t wonder in absolute wonder at a supposedly fantastically wonderful movie that actually drags you through a year of dullness, using endless hours of screen time on seasons that don’t look as good as the seasons look right outside the theater where I saw the movie?

Or how about a movie that is so dull that the death of the lead character is aggressively prayed for by this member of the film’s audience? Please Lord, please God, please, kill Birdman. Kill him, please. Do that for those of us who are suffering through this horror. Even buttered popcorn can’t make this movie stomach-able.

I used to be a book reviewer for a newspaper in my early years of writing but I found it hard to nail a book as being awful. Books are one usually poor writer trying his or her damn best to create something good. If that book failed? I would just put that book down and read a different one to review. I don’t have that problem with bad movies. I’m not quite sure why. If a movie stinks I’ll tell you it stinks.

Frank’s website is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available at smile.Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, kindle, e-books and at bookstores.

State Birds: Wild, Weird and Wonderful


They come in all sizes, shapes and colors. Some are plain; some are spectacular. They are state birds. But underneath it all is cut-throat competition among some states.

Alaska named the Willow Ptarmigan as its state bird.. Why is obvious because this bird can survive deadly winters and even has feathers on its legs. You might say it is the legging bird. It has bright colors and is a favorite of hunters in the British Isles; one of the reasons Alaska would have fought in the Revolution if it were a colony then.

Arizona has a dotted bird, the Cactus Wren, as its herald but it sounds awful when its calls hit the airwaves. Quite a lot of Arizona is stark and so is this bird. Hard to tell males apart from females; but it’s so hot in Arizona that I don’t think the birds have the energy to care.

California has a rather dull bird. I guess Californians didn’t want the dull birds to feel bad because they aren’t as beautiful as the beautiful birds so they picked the subdued California Quail. That’s progressivism for you. This bird looks as if it can survive earthquakes, mudslides, forest fires, homelessness and high taxes. It is a true Californian.

Delaware has a domesticated multi-plumaged bird, the Blue Hen Chicken, and is easy to find in order to eat after you’ve marveled at its colors. Barnyards are great habitats for it. Don’t kill it with a gun as you’ll then be eating pellets.

Georgia named the Brown Thrasher, a so-so-looking bird, as its peach. Don’t quite know why but then again we’re talking about Georgia which is rarely on our minds.

Hawaii is our most recently recognized state and a paradise to visit; but its bird does not match the state’s beauty. The creature is somewhat yuckaii. Meet the Nene or Hawaiian Goose.

Idaho has the Mountain Bluebird  and recently the falcon as its birds. The Bluebird is a stunning blue. Of course, like all songbirds it fastly flitters so you must have that “songbird patience” to get a good viewing. But make it quick because falcons eat Bluebirds.

Perhaps the prettiest thing you’ll see in Mississippi is its state bird the Wood Duck. Its other bird is the Mockingbird. That bird it shares with Arkansas, Florida and Tennessee.

Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio are at war as they all picked the Cardinal as their state bird. I see many Cardinals at my feeders (I live in New York); and they are beauties. However, I do not see any Kentuckians.

Louisiana picked the Brown Pelican. When Louisiana floods these birds feel happily at home.

Montana and Nebraska have a thing for the  Western Meadowlark, a yellow bird that doesn’t seem strong enough to hang out in these cowboy states.

Frank’s website is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available at smile.Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, kindle, e-books and at bookstores.