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Montana tales and tails

An essay on a bird feeder

It seems to take a while after sunrise now for birds to gather at the bird feeder by the kitchen window.

On winter mornings like those recently, when the temperature struggled to rise much above zero, the chickadees, house finches and English house sparrows didn't show up until half an hour after sunrise.

I don't blame them; winter mornings are meant for sleeping in.

All animals that spend at least part of their lives in Montana, inside those man-made boundaries we call state lines, have three strategies for coping with winter: leave, go to sleep or tough it out.

The leaving part is easy to un...


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