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Yesterday a dear friend invited me down to Newburgh, MO to look at a suspected heron rookery. We parked across from the local post office and began to scan the giant Sycamores running along the Little Piney Creek, in no time we zeroed in on a heron standing on top the tallest limb on a giant tree. We immediately set up the scope and within seconds we were viewing three nest and eight heron. Some of the immatures were quite large and I suspect they will fledge soon.

We also heard the distinct call of the Red Shouldered Hawk emanating from the same area, and as luck would have it here comes a adult Red Shoulder Hawk flying toward the nest with a small snake in it's grips, what a great view.

There were other neat birds in the area including forty or more Cliff Swallows with nest under the bridge not fifty feet from where we were standing, and while watching the heron approximately ten Turkey Vultures came off the roost in the same area looking for the thermals.

Lucy knows everyone in town and before we knew it cars were stopping and people were walking over and getting a introduction to birding 101. We had a wonderful Sunday morning drinking coffee, talking birds, while all the time making new friends and showing the locals the rookery right in their back yard. After viewing the rookery through the scope I would hear statements like: "WOW:" I had no idea!, Or better yet, "Come here Fred you got to see this". The best retort is still, "God I wish I had my kids with me, they would love this" It never ceases to amaze me but I have yet to meet a person that does not love birds.

Bird on!

Mike Doyen
Rolla, MO
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