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KEWASKUM, Wis. – From St. Mark’s plaza in Venice, Italy, to rooftop lofts in Matanzas, Cuba, to New York City’s Central Park to countryside farm silos to interstate overpasses, pigeons are an ubiquitous fixture of our world. Some people dislike the ever-present evidence a pigeon leaves behind – stray feathers and poop-painted perches. Others behold in awe what seems to be the orchestrated flying formation of a flock of the feathered beauties.

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MERIDEAN, Wis. – It’s difficult to believe the sleepy little town called Meridean was twice a bustling metropolis. Its first incarnation was on an island in the Chippewa River; its second was nearby south of the river.

I am not a bird watcher, but I did notice recently a pair of Baltimore orioles industriously constructing a nest in my neighbor’s walnut tree.…