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     After seeing merlin in my back yard Thursday, I looked out about 10
a.m. Sunday, and my feeders (filled up at dusk Saturday) were hopping.
Suddenly, everybody started scattering, and here came an accipiter cruising
in. Got pretty good looks as it swooped, then perched a moment. No doubt a
Cooper's or sharp-shinned. I know size isn't supposed to be a definitive
difference, but I'm gonna go with sharp-shinned, just b/c it seemed pretty
small to me, hardly much bigger than the merlin. At the range, and thru my
window, and with my older, weaker binos that I keep in the kitchen, I didn't
have enough time to note all the details that might otherwise have
differentiated between the Coop's or sharpie. I could be persuaded it was
Cooper's, but I have seen sharpies in my neck of the woods, and my back yard
is mostly wooded on three sides. Didn't see it catch anything. Also, had a
red squirrel this morn taking advantage of the corn and peanuts I put on the
"squirrel tree" to try to keep the little devils busy and away from the rest
of the feeders. I can't remember last time I had a red squirrel sneak in
among the grays.

Steve Whitworth, Glen Carbon, Madison County, IL





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