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The Arcata Marsh is home to more than 300 species of birds and also serves as that California city’s wastewater treatment facility. (Contributed photo by Gregg Jennings.)

I parked near a number of other cars and watched as a middle-aged woman exited her SUV. She extracted a spotting scope attached to a folded-up tripod from the back seat of the vehicle. I guessed she was the Redwood Region Audubon Society volunteer that would lead the bird-watching walk. As I approached her she greeted me.

“Are you here for the bird walk?”

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Song sparrows thrive in both California and Wisconsin, and can be daunting for a beginning birder because they have five different songs. (Contributed photo by Gregg Jennings.)

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This striking pair of cinnamon teal were right at home in Arcata’s natural wastewater treatment plant. (Contributed photo by Gregg Jennings.)

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Egrets find plenty of fish in the waters of the Arcata Marsh. (Contributed photo by Gregg Jennings.)

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