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Often mixed with snow buntings, Lapland longspurs (right) are so named for their elongated rear claw. Keith Corliss

Wintering bird known for huge gatherings

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In keeping with human nature, we sort, rank, and categorize nearly everything in our lives. It serves to keep ideas neat and orderly giving us at least the notion that we have some control of it all. In politics, there are Democrats and Republicans, in our laundry basket we sort whites from colors, for trees we broadly separate conifers (needled trees) from their deciduous (leaf dropping) cousins.

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