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  • To preserve and sustain the unique character of the Little Spokane River Valley, including it's open space and natural setting.
  • To maintain lower density zoning.
  • To protect the area's ecosystem including water quality, wetlands, priority habitat and wildlife, and dwindling native vegetation.
  • To encourage the development of area parks and natural areas.
  • To educate public officials of the concerns of the Friends of the Little Spokane River Valley, and be pro-active when major issues are at the forefront.

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    Welcome to the Friends of the Little Spokane River Valley

    Spring is for the Birds (and Birders)!
    by Lindell Haggin
    Spring is a wonderful time of year for birders. After watching the same birds for months (November through March), we finally begin to see waves of birds that are starting their move to the north and their nesting territories. In February we see Red-winged Blackbirds moving back in larger numbers. Spring will come!

    In March impressive flocks of Robins join the few who managed to make it through the whole winter here. The first of the Turkey Vultures arrive back from Central and South America. If you're lucky enough to be in the right spot in Central America or Mexico at this time of year, you can look up and see thousands of them in migration mixed in with hawks and other raptors. To save energy these birds find thermals along ridge lines. These invisible columns of warm air carry the birds up to higher elevations and then they coast down to another thermal. It is a magic sight to see.

    By April we start seeing more of the neotropical birds make their appearance. Neotropical migrants are those birds who spend their winters in Mexico, Central and South America, but breed in the U.S. or Canada. A few Violet-green Swallows who spent the winter in Central America show up to scout their old nesting sites. By the end of the month the male hummingbirds start moving through. The Calliope Hummingbirds have come all the way from Southern Mexico and Central America. The Osprey winters in the same areas, but has long, broad wings to carry it up on thermals so it can coast a good deal of the time on the way back. That fragile looking hummingbird flaps those tiny wings innumerable times to make it back under its own steam.

    But May is the bonanza month. A variety of warblers are moving through or returning to nesting sites, as are kinglets, flycatchers, swifts, sparrows, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Gray Catbirds, Bullocks's Orioles and Western Tanagers. What is truly remarkable is that despite traveling thousands of miles, many of these birds return to the same cluster of bushes that they left the year before.

    By June the neotropical birds are busy nesting and raising young.

    Besides enjoying these natural wonders during their all too brief stay, there are a few things you can do to increase the chances for success of these interesting creatures.

  • Keep cats inside

  • Plant shrubs and trees that provide shelter and food

  • Plant flowers to attract birds and butterflies

  • Put out hummingbird feeders especially for those early arrivals.

  • Keep the riverbank as natural as possible

  • Have a pair of binoculars and field guide handy so you can enjoy them even more

    A couple times in the last week when I've been down by the river, I've seen a female Calliope hummingbird poking at what's left of the pussy willows. She's gathering these fluffy bits that she will use along with spider webs and lichens to create her nest. The original recyclers!

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