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MailTribune.com
  • 'Freeway Birding'

    Ashland's Harry Fuller gives motoring birders tips on sightseeing pit-stops along I-5
  • Ashland birder Harry Fuller steps out of his car with binoculars in hand, ready to scope a field near the Medford airport for one of the Rogue Valley's more unusual winter visitors.
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    • If you go
      Harry Fuller has set up several local events to discuss his new book, "Freeway Birding San Francisco to Seattle"

      Wednesday, Feb. 27: Book signing, with profits going to the Klamath Bi...
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      If you go
      Harry Fuller has set up several local events to discuss his new book, "Freeway Birding San Francisco to Seattle"

      Wednesday, Feb. 27: Book signing, with profits going to the Klamath Bird Observatory, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., at 320 Beach St., Ashland

      Saturday, March 2: Book signing, 1 p.m., at Wild Birds Unlimited, 712 Crater Lake Ave., Medford

      Tuesday, March 12: Presentation and book signing, sponsored by Northwest Nature Shop, at 7 p.m. at the GIOS Building, 84 Fourth St., Ashland

      Thursday, March 14: Grants Pass Audubon meeting, 6:30 p.m., in Classroom 611 at Grants Pass High School, 830 NE Ninth St., Grants Pass
  • Ashland birder Harry Fuller steps out of his car with binoculars in hand, ready to scope a field near the Medford airport for one of the Rogue Valley's more unusual winter visitors.
    He's seeking a short-eared owl, an Eastern Oregon denizen known to winter in this field full of mice, jackrabbits and other vittles prized by avian predators.
    "They like areas without a lot of cover and no snow so they can find prey easier," says Fuller, 67. "They fly like giant moths over the top of the brush, listening for anything that moves."
    For Interstate 5 travelers looking for a short respite from the road, a quick search for owls here sure beats calisthenics in a truck stop.
    This field is one of more than 200 spots between San Francisco and Seattle that Fuller highlights in his new field guide, "Freeway Birding San Francisco to Seattle," written to give interstate motorists hints on where to mark more species off their life lists during otherwise mundane drives.
    Fuller's first book aims to give traveling birders advice on exactly where to meld driving breaks with their avian passions.
    From an I-5 rest area near Maxwell, Calif., that's occasionally home to wads of shore birds and ducks to Washington wildlife refuges full of sandhill cranes, Fuller's book details pit-stops for birders and explains what they can expect to find.
    The book includes destinations within 20 minutes of the interstate along I-80, I-5 and the various business routes and bypasses around cities such as Sacramento and Portland.
    Published by Michigan-based Living Gold Press, the 344-page book will retail for $21.95.
    "Everybody from truckers to vacationers could use that thing," says Fuller, a retired television newsman and longtime birding guide.
    "People use that corridor all the time," Fuller says. "It's not always apparent that you're really close to good birding sites."
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