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Out-of-state birders line up along a South Dakota trail for a glimpse at perhaps the most talked about bird in America this year, the orange-billed nightingale-thrush. Keith Corliss/The Pioneer

Flight Lines: In pursuit of passion, the chase isn't always easy

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If Macklin Smith made the pilgrimage to the Black Hills of South Dakota you know it's something special. Really special.

Mr. Smith, for those unaware, teaches poetry at the U. of Michigan. One of his other interests is birds. For him it's more than just an interest though. Smith has seen more bird species north of Mexico than any other person ever (880 at last report). When a rare bird shows up in the country, you can bet Smith is aware.

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