Outdoors blog

Birder applies binoculars to Mount Spokane

Trees near the top of the mountain are rimmed with snow Tuesday at Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park.  (Jesse Tinsley)
Trees near the top of the mountain are rimmed with snow Tuesday at Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park. (Jesse Tinsley)

BIRDING -- Most people visiting Mount Spokane this month are focused on frolicking in the snow, whether it's on skis, snowshoes, inner tubes or snowmobiles.

But there's a lot more life in the winter mountain forest than most visitors realize -- unless you head up with a serious birdwatcher, such as Terry Little.
 
"I took my wife cross-country skiing this morning on Mount Spokane," he reported a few minutes ago by e-mail. "She skied; I drove. But I did have a little time to do some high-mountain birding.
 
"As usual, one has to be patient and persistent when birding in the mountains, especially in the winter. But here is what I found (mostly about 1/2 mile past the parking lot for the snowmobilers on the way to ski lodges):
 
Sharp-shinned hawk, northern pygmy owl, hairy woodpecker, common raven, gray jay (2), chestnut-backed chickadee, Mountain chickadee, red-breasted nuthatch, pine grosbeak (15), Cassin's finch (1), red crossbill (2), pine siskins (10).
 
Little also reported seeing bald eagles, northern rough-legged hawks and American kestrels in the fields at the Peone Wetland as he traveled from the mountain.



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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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