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This morning as I was psyching up to do some work in my neglected yard I 
witnessed what I had been watching for the last four or five days--the first 
flight of two red-shouldered hawks from the nest a 100 yds or so up the 
creek behind my house.  I heard the whole family of four raising a racket 
and moments later both youngsters crash landed near the top of a big 
northern red oak fifty feet from the back door.  The parents were circling 
overhead and calling.  The fledglings called back and flapped and teetered 
around.  Their primaries and rectrices were still about half the length of 
adult birds.  The commotion brought in several crows and blue jays and a 
mostly disinterested red-tailed hawk made an orbit or two and sailed away. 
The adult birds kept the intruders at bay for several minutes until the 
whole show moved south and out sight.  A nice counterbalance to a morning of 
mowing and running the weed-whacker.
Don Hays
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Donald R. Hays
Union, Missouri 

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