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My wife watched a cardinal and a praying mantis "throw down" yesterday. She didn't get any pictures, but apparently the mantis was just about as tall as the bird, and however the mantis was defending itself, the cardinal did not want to take it head-on. The game apparently was for the cardinal to try to hop around behind the mantis, and peck at it from behind... It took several minutes for the bird to get in enough licks to subdue the bug.

Would have been fascinating to watch...
 
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Those are really nice, Sandbar. Mostly what visits my back yard are *****, birds and chipmunks. Some of the strangers that come thru are possums, skunks and the rare deer. Rabbits usually hang out in the front. Also too many neighborhood dogs wandering thru. Someone must have started complaining though because there haven't been as many of them lately.
 

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Very nice photos and a good thread. I posted a couple of pics in another thread of the Deer that frequent my yard. I have a lot of those Chameleons in my yard also.

That is an awesome bird in your photo. Do you know what kind it is?
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The bird is a male painted bunting. They're on the threatened species list because of trapping (for the caged bird trade) and loss of habitat. Their summer breeding grounds include Bald Head Island. Think the northern extent of their summer range is around Moorehead City. They winter in Cuba and Mexico. There is an ongoing study conducted by UNCW and I participated in a banding session held here at my home. Pretty neat!!! Here's a pic of a female.
 

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Funny you should start this thread, just the other day I spotted a very unusual sight. (At least I think it is unusual, I have certainly never seen this before).

Check out the attachment, it is a woodchuck (a.k.a. groundhog) in a tree! He was chowing down on the glossy leaves of that tree, I'm not sure what type of tree it is. He looked so clumsy on that branch. He weighed the branch down pretty well, and every time he moved I thought for sure that he was going to fall out :D
 

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D-el, pretty unusual but it does happen. I've only seen one in a tree in my lifetime but it is known that they can and do climb trees. Until I saw one in a tree I had never heard of such. Neither had the guy that was with me. I've since heard biologist/naturalists types mention that quirk a couple of times. I've also found a couple of pictures of them in trees on the web. I have a feeling that few people ever witness a ground hog in a tree.
 

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I have a feeling that few people ever witness a ground hog in a tree.
My GF saw him one day and I did not believe her for a second. A few weeks later I witnessed it myself. It has to be those leaves that motivate him to make the climb as I watched him for a good 10 minutes just absolutely chowing down on those leaves :)
 

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I regret to say that I didn't take any pictures but this past Saturday I was washing the windows on the outside of the house and I heard a bunch of Blue Jays going crazy. They are the wildlife community watch dogs so to speak. The first thing that I thought was that it had to be the Hawk that usually comes around but I didn't see it. So I kept looking around up in the trees and I saw something fall a short distance. I went over to take a closer look and it was a big Black Snake that must have been in the top of that oak tree. He caught himself on a branch and was clinging on for dear life and the Jays were after him. He fell again and I thought he had fallen all the way to the ground but he had caught the bottom branch of the holly tree that I was standing next to. I spotted him laid across a branch about eye level looking at me as if he were looking for help. The Jays were relentless and after about an hour or so I guess he crawled on down and hid somewhere. It was pretty comical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
LiveBait, I too heard blue jays screaming bloody murder and went to investigate. I found a black snake in the process of swallowing a mature gray squirrel head first. I took photos of the entire process which was amazing. Took the snake about 30 minutes to get the squirrel swallowed.

Another incident involving a black snake and me occurred while on a Boy Scout trip. We spent the night in a log cabin which had a ground floor and a loft. I chose to sleep on the top rack of a bunk bed which left about two feet clearance between me and the floor of the loft. I awoke the next morning to see a black snake dangling from a rafter just a few inches from my face. I dozed back off and upon realizing what I had just seen, I turned that bunk over, fell to the concrete floor yelling the whole way down, bounced up and headed for the door with the rest of the troop on my heels. Still take some ribbing over that.
 

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Now that's funny^^^^^^^^^^^^ right there!!!!!
 

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That's a good one sandbar! An old Black Snake will come right on in the house. I have seen them standing almost half their body up trying to find a way in the window.
 

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I looked out in the backyard this morning and there were dozens of beautiful butterflies working a bush. I finally got around to taking a picture and this guy was the only one left.

I also attached a current picture of the garden. ;) I'm trying to sneak a second crop of beans and corn before the first frost. I think I might make it! :D
 

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