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Wed, May 20
When birds squawk, their neighbors listen
In the backyard of a woodsy home outside this college town, small birds — black-capped chickadees, mountain chickadees, red-breasted nuthatches — flitted to and from the yard’s feeder. They were oblivious to a curious stand nearby, topped by a curtain that was painted to resemble bark.
Erick Greene, a professor of biology at the University of Montana, stepped away from the stand and stood by the home’s backdoor. He pressed the fob of a modified garage-door opener. The curtain dropped, unveiling a taxidermied northern pygmy owl. Its robotic head moved from side to side, as if scanning for its next meal.