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Out & About: Plan your year around local birds

Eagles grace the cover
Eagles grace the cover

OUTDATE – Enjoy daily reminders of the feathered friends found in the region next year with the Spokane Audubon Society’s Birds of Eastern Washington 2012 Calendar, featuring local birds photographed by the group’s members

Cost: $12 online at

Or pay $10 by picking it up at the club’s monthly program:

Winter Birds of Spokane, by SFCC biology professor Gary Blevins, Wednesday, 7 p.m., Riverview Community Building, 2117 E. North Crescent Ave.

Detailed directions:

More bald eagles arrive at Lake CdA

OUTSCOPE – The season’s third survey of bald eagles congregating at Lake Coeur d’Alene found another big jump in numbers from the previous week.

A Friday survey found 112 adults (white heads) and 24 immature eagles (under 4 years old with dark heads) for a total of 136, said Carrie Hugo, BLM wildlife biologist.

About 80 eagles were counted at Wolf Lodge Bay last week. Even more are expected before their numbers peak later this month to feed on spawning kokanee.

Nordic Kids puts families on skis

OUTSKIING – Kids ages 5-15 are the focus of the popular Nordic Kids cross-country skiing program at Mount Spokane, but parents who need a primer don’t have to sit around.

Spokane Nordic Ski Education Foundation is taking registration for Saturday skiing lessons that start Jan. 7 and run most Saturdays through March 3. Last year, 150 kids joined groups led by volunteer instructors through the season.

“This is a family sport, so we decided last year to have a lesson for parents who needed help with nordic skiing,” said Alison Liaboe, Nordic Kids co-organizer.

“That was a real hit. So this year, we’re offering three free lessons to parents who enroll their kids in the program.”

Also new, five of the volunteer coaches will be certified instructors.

Participants must become members of SNSEF ($30 per family). Cost for the seven weekend Nordic Kids sessions is $50.

Sign up online at

Reasons real trees best for Christmas

OUTGOING The Nature Conservancy offers five reasons why harvesting a real tree for Christmas decorating is a better choice for the environment than buying an artificial tree.

1. Families have fun heading out to cut their own tree, and real trees smell great in the home.

2. Real tree sales keep tree farms in business to maintain open space.

3. Real trees are more easily recycled, while fake trees are made of vinyl - one of the more difficult plastics to dispose.

4. Artificial trees require fossil fuels for the raw materials and release carbon pollution during manufacturing.

5. Cutting a well- selected tree from the forest can help thin a stand to promote growth of other trees and reduce fire danger. And a tree harvested from a tree farm usually is replaced by up to three new trees to absorb carbon dioxide from the air.


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