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This recent cold snap (finally over?) had the birds in a frenzy around our house 
the last couple of weeks.   Late in January, we had a couple of America Tree 
Sparrows (ATSP) show up, which usually happens every winter when we get 
some snow on the ground.  This winter, however, the flock grew steadily until 
by Saturday during the GBBC, my wife and counted a total of 43 ATSP.  This 
dwarfed the number of White-throated sparrows (8), Dark-eyed Juncos (20--
including our still-present Oregon Junco), Fox Sparrows (4), Song (1), and 
Field Sparrows (1).

We also had 3 Purple Finches...a regular but small presence this winter...and a 
Pileated Woodpecker is still raiding the suet feeders.  We've used as much 
suet in the last three months as we did all of last year.

Usually on GBBC weekend we hear and/or see American Woodcock in the yard, 
but not this time.  Probably will hear them this week, though.  They're due.

A sign that Spring is coming?  a squabble between 4 Red-shouldered Hawks in 
the backyard...apparently two regulars and two interlopers.  I watched one 
pair evict the other pair, chasing them out of a poplar tree and right over our 
rooftop at the bedroom window, which means they cleared my head by about 
five feet while I looked out the window.  Then the two "regulars" returned to 
the poplar tree and proceeded to mate.

Good Birding,
Tom and Lynda Mills
Hillsboro
Jefferson Co.     

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