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Duluth's Laura Erickson, seen here in 2011, went on a birding spree called a "big year" in 2013, criss-crossing the country to identify as many species of birds as she could. (Bob King / Duluth News Tribune)

Minnesota woman ranks high in 'big year' birding spree

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DULUTH -- She happened onto a diamondback rattlesnake in Oklahoma while looking for a black-capped vireo. She got stuck in a snowbank in Arizona's mountains seeking a Mexican chickadee. Shortly after spying a Colima warbler in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, she watched a mountain lion pass within 20 feet of her.

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