This fluffed up American Tree Sparrow was spotted on the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge this past week.

The little guy just might end up on a list of birds this weekend or next as two Christmas Bird Counts happen in the Bitterroot Valley.

The first count is Saturday, December 19, with participants meeting at 7:30 a.m. at the Teller Wildlife Refuge north of Corvallis. The count is conducted mainly in the morning in a 7 mile circle centered at the Hamilton airport. If you've never been in a bird count before, you'll be paired up with more experienced birdwatchers. Bitterroot Audubon Society members are among the spotters.

The Stevensville Christmas Bird Count will be the day after Christmas, December 26, and is centered around the Stevensville Ranger Station on the north end of Stevensville's Main Street. Call Dave Lockman at 381-7679 for more information. It includes the Metcalf Wildlife Refuge and its numbers are usually among the top in the state. Hamilton's count is up there, too.

By the way, you can take part in a backyard bird feeder count, too. The feeders are where you often see the little American Tree Sparrow in the winter. They migrate north from here in the spring, up to their breeding grounds in the tundra. Tough little dudes.