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Opinion >  Column

100 years ago in Spokane: Birder suggests robins aren’t actually harbingers of spring

Some robins from the”dismal north” actually migrate in winter down to Spokane in large numbers, he said.  (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)
Some robins from the”dismal north” actually migrate in winter down to Spokane in large numbers, he said. (Spokane Daily Chronicle archives)

Walter Bruce, president of the Spokane Bird Club, wrote an article describing how robins, contrary to popular belief, are not really harbingers of spring in the Spokane region.

Some robins from the “dismal north” actually migrate in winter down to Spokane in large numbers, he said. He noted that a number of other species also arrive from the north in winter, “driven south in search of food by inclement weather and deep snows.”

Spokane birdwatchers had seen robins, golden-crowned kinglets, redpolls, tree sparrows, waxwings and a species he identified as the “Alaska ground thrush.”

Another species he called the “Alaska longspur” (perhaps the one today called the Lapland longspur) was also a common winter visitor.

From the development beat: A leading citizen of Miles, Wash., near the confluence of the Spokane and Columbia rivers, wrote to the Spokane Daily Chronicle asking for aid in developing that region.

“The people of the lower Spokane River valley and the Columbia valley and Intermountain country northwest of Spokane feel that the people of Spokane are not giving them a square deal,” said the writer. “We must have rail transportation.”

The Chronicle editors agreed, and responded that “by building up undeveloped territory, Spokane will be helping herself.” They encouraged rail development to the region.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

2004: Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Daytona 500 on the same track where his father was killed in a crash heading into Turn 4 on the race’s final lap three years earlier.

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