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Nature Notebook

Busy little hummingbirds are always fun to watch. They are attracted to nectar in our flowers. A camera can capture a picture of their wings, but they move so quickly, you can barely see them.

We put out birdseed and peanuts to attract and feed the Cardinals, Jays, and other neighborhood birds. We were surprised to see these two Cooper's Hawks. One searched for prey from the roof. The other was bold enough to perch on a chair.

When we first saw a bright orange furry animal moving across the grass, we thought it was a large cat. Then we realized it was a fox. This beautiful animal made several visits to our yard and even took a nap one day on a bale of straw.

Some visitors are tiny, like this snail. He was about one inch long. He wasn't beautiful like the fox. He couldn't fly like the hawks. He just kind of slimed along, determined to go from one place to another. He was just a little snail, doing what snails do.

If you look around carefully, you will find lots of little creatures in your backyard. Try to count the different kinds of animals that live near you. You may find many more than you first expected, and you might think some are very interesting.

Try to figure out which are beneficial and which are harmful. They all have important jobs to do in nature.

2015, Jerry Jindrich. All rights reserved. Revised 1/25/2016.