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MATTHEW BECK/Chronicle
Rodney Whipple uses a drill press to carve a hole into a walking stick made from black walnut at the Beverly Hills Craftsman’s Guild. The Massachusetts resident spends several months in the beginning of the year at a home in Beverly Hills.
Our feathered, fairweather friends

The first flight comes in October, when the weather in New York and Michigan turns cold.

By Christmas, 22,000 snowbirds have made the trek to Citrus County, their winter home.

They are an economic and cultural force in Citrus County — filling restaurants, church pews, RV campgrounds and civic clubs. Business owners love them, hiring more employees or assigning overtime to handle the influx. Others are less enamored, counting the days until their departure.

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