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January 15th 2011    Tim Candler

    A little concerned about the Close Mockingbird.  He eats his Alatus berry and then coughs, or appears to cough.  Or maybe it is a sneeze. 

    And I think Bird Flu.  I imagine his nights miserable in the Cedar and I know why Blue Jays wander carefree through his kingdom.  I imagine him poisoned by Alatus juice, and I wonder if he likes rice. On it goes.

     I would call it a cough he has, because of the little noise he makes.  And I would call it a sneeze because this little noise he has, unbalances him.  Sends him rocking on his branch.  Yet he still flies well and his feathers have healthiness to them.

     Yesterday he watched a Phoebe in the vegetable garden.  She was unusually bright.  Her breast had that touch of green or yellow that makes white glow.  The Close Mockingbird and I both wondered what she was finding to feed upon.

    Being stared at makes a Phoebe shy.  So she was gone quickly.  I opened the garden gate to see what food she might have found.  I could see nothing particular.  Nor could the Close Mockingbird sneezing on his fence post.

    I do so hope it is just a word or two stuck in his craw. 

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