Daily Archives: February 8, 2013

Birds are Counting on You!

Discover and help the birds in your community

The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is for everyone, from beginner birdwatchers to experts, and for the first time ever, anyone can participate from anywhere in the world. Counting birds provides scientists and researchers with a real-time snapshot of winter bird populations.

Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps the National Audubon Society, Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Bird Studies Canada learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them and the environment we share. For information on how to participate, go tohttp://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/howto.html.

Please join us for the GBBC, Friday, February 15th through Monday, February 18th, and together we can make our local birds count!

Whooping Cranes Sited at Quivira NWR

A reliable report of 6 adult Whooping Cranes on February 8 between 9:30 and 10:00 am, about 4 miles west of Big Salt Marsh in Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in Stafford County. They were near the corner of 

NE 160th Street


NE 60th Avenue

. This is about 2 miles west of the Stafford/Ellinwood blacktop. The birds were with a large flock of Sandhill Cranes and possibly roosted overnight at Quivira.

            It is uncertain whether these birds are still present in the area as of mid-afternoon, but there has been regular use of Big Salt Marsh by Sandhill Cranes over the past week. Some cranes are undoubtedly feeding in the vicinity and returning nightly to roost at Quivira.

            There is only one previous February record of Whooping Cranes in the Quivira area.  These birds were sited on February 19, about ten years ago. In 2012 numerous Whooping Cranes were observed in the Quivira area though out January. It was hard to tell if these birds were stragglers and never made the entire migration south to Aransas NWR in Texas or they were early migrants headed north.

            If you are interested in birding information at Quivira NWR, go to their website at:http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Quivira/.

Steve Harper Scholarship renewed, to help Kansas students

The Outdoors Writers of Kansas and Kansas Wildscape are renewing the Scholarship.

A scholarship for Kansas students is named after Steve Harper, a longtime photo editor and outdoors writer/photographer for the Wichita Eagle, who died in 2000 from cancer at the age of 55. A scholarship in his name was suggested by Gov. Bill Graves and others. The $1,000 scholarship program was funded by donations. Funds expired after about 10 years. The Outdoors Writers of Kansas and Kansas Wildscape are joining to renew the Scholarship.

Applications may be made by students graduating from a Kansas high school planning on attending a Kansas four-year college, with a nature/wildlife-based major. The student must also have career goals of staying in Kansas. College students with a similar major and goals may also apply.

The program will issue one $1,000 scholarship annually, directly to the student’s college.

Harper was known for his deep love of Kansas and published hundreds of articles and photos about enjoying his native state. He also rated Kansans as some of the finest people in America, especially those that possessed great deals of commitment and motivation.

Scholarship applicants will be judged by members of the Outdoor Writers of Kansas and Kansas Wildscape. Selection criteria will include past and current involvement in nature/wildlife-related projects, scholastic achievement and projected potential.

The deadline to apply is late March. For information on applying, contact Debbie Brandt at Kansas Wildscape at 785-843-9453 or [email protected].