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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Out and about: Local birds featured in Audubon calendar

OUTDEAL – The Spokane Audubon Society is offering monthly reminders that Eastern Washington residents are blessed with birds.

The 2017 Birds of Eastern Washington calendar is on sale for $10 at the club’s website, spokaneaudubon.org.

The images are donated by chapter members who have the dual qualities of being gifted photographers and ardent birdwatchers who spend a lot of time in the field.

The cover is graced with a spunky image of a fanned out male spruce grouse by Buck Domitrovich of Cheney.

Birds featured each month are the best images submitted to judges who made the final selection, said Kim Thorburn, club member. A wide range of species is featured. The bird of the month is one that might show up in this area at that time of year, she said.

Featured in the 2017 calendar are: the bald eagle for January, rough-legged hawk for February, American wigeon for March, rufous hummingbird for April, burrowing owl for May, Bullock’s oriole for June, barn swallow for July, black tern for August, great blue heron for September, American dipper for October, horned lark for November and northern saw-whet owl for December.

Deer are starving; nothing new there

OUTWINTER – Deer have it rough during an Inland Northwest winter.

“Basically, they’re starving to death,” said Corey Heath, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist. “And that’s normal.”

Deer generally have put on enough fat to last the through the worst weather, a formula that works as long as they have access to areas where they won’t be disturbed.

“It’s absolutely critical,” Heath said.

The animals do not add weight through winter because snow and cold prevents them from taking in enough calories. They are geared to conserving energy until spring.

Deer head to lower elevations and wind-swept slopes with less snow. They grow thicker winter coats and move less. They seek tree stands and other shelter from the wind, snowfall and cold. They eat what’s available, including bitterbrush, sagebrush, juniper and lichen hanging off trees.

Their survival depends on not being disturbed by unnatural things such as snowmobiles, snowshoers and loose-running dogs.

Disturbances from people can force deer to burn more vital calories, while also displacing them from a safe spot.

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