Daily Archives: February 2, 2017

KANSAS! Magazine asks readers to pick favorite local eateries in Kansas


KANSAS! magazine, the state’s premier travel magazine, invites readers to nominate their favorite local eateries in Kansas for the magazine’s third annual readers’ choice issue. Only local restaurants, cafes, food trucks, bakeries, and other eateries will be will be considered. Nominations opened Wednesday, February 1st, and will be collected through March 14.


Submissions may be entered at www.kansasmag.com, or mailed to 1020 S Kansas Ave Ste 200, Topeka, KS 66612-1389 or emailed to [email protected] Social media users can participate through Instagram and Twitter using #BestLocalEatsKS or #NoPlaceLikeKS in their post. From March 15 through May 31, readers will have a final opportunity to vote from a list of semi-finalist with the highest nominations. The winners will be announced in November.


Last year, KANSAS! readers voted for their favorite small town in Kansas. After thousands of votes were tallied, the five winning small towns were Atwood, Council Grove, Lecompton, Marysville, and Norton. For more about these small towns you can pick up the winter issue currently available on newsstands.


“The ‘Favorite Small Town in Kansas’ was very successful, and many fans and readers participated. We had votes from not only Kansas but all over the U.S.,” explained Andrea Etzel, editor of KANSAS! magazine. “It was also wonderful to see so many engaged and the communities’ involvement.”


For more information and a complete list of guidelines visit, www.kansasmag.com.

Angler Education Instructor Certification Course Feb. 25


Most of us have had a mentor at some point in our lives who inspired us, taught us, and delighted in our successes. Unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky, especially when it comes to having an outdoor mentor. But you can help by becoming a volunteer certified angler instructor through the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism’s Angler Education program. You’ll have an avenue for sharing your passion for angling with others, and you could become someone’s mentor. To get you started, a certification course will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Throckmorton Hall, Room 1014, 1712 Claflin Rd. at Kansas State University in Manhattan.


Attendees will be given valuable information regarding working with children, sample curriculums, and tips for preparing a class or clinic, as well as obtain their certification. Participants must be 18 years of age or older and pass a background check prior to certification.


Youth ages 14-18 may also attend and obtain Junior Assistant Angling Volunteer status with a signed parental form. Junior Assistant Angling Volunteers must work with a certified instructor when hosting an aquatic education activity, clinic, derby or outreach.


To sign up, visit FishingsFuture.org. From the Welcome page, click either the “Enter” or “Come on In” button and then click on the “Events” link to find the Manhattan course. For all other inquiries, contact Bill Horvath at [email protected].

Join the 20th Great Backyard Bird Count


Bird watchers around the world take part, February 17-20


The Cornell Lab


A lot has changed since the first Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) was held in 1998. Each year brings unwavering enthusiasm from the growing number of participants in this now-global event. The 20th annual GBBC is taking place February 17-20 in backyards, parks, nature centers, on hiking trails, school grounds, balconies, and beaches—anywhere you find birds.


Bird watchers count the birds they see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, then enter their checklists at birdcount.org. All the data contribute to a snapshot of bird distribution and help scientists see changes over the past 20 years.


“The very first GBBC was an experiment,” says the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Marshall Iliff, a leader of the eBird program. “We wanted to see if people would use the Internet to send us their bird sightings. Clearly the experiment was a success!” eBird collects bird observations globally every day of the year and is the online platform used by the GBBC.


That first year, bird watchers submitted about 13,500 checklists from the United States and Canada. Fast-forward to the most recent event in 2016. Over the four days of the count, an estimated 163,763 bird watchers from more than 100 countries submitted 162,052 bird checklists reporting 5,689 species–more than half the known bird species in the world.


“The Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way to introduce people to participation in citizen science,” says Audubon vice president and chief scientist Gary Langham. “No other program allows volunteers to take an instantaneous snapshot of global bird populations that can contribute to our understanding of how a changing climate is affecting birds.”


Varying weather conditions so far this winter are producing a few trends that GBBC participants can watch for during the count. eBird reports show many more waterfowl and kingfishers remaining further north than usual because they are finding open water. If that changes, these birds could move southward.


Also noted are higher than usual numbers of Bohemian Waxwings in the Pacific Northwest and northern Rocky Mountains. And while some winter finches have been spotted in the East, such as Red Crossbills, Common Redpolls, Evening Grosbeaks, and a few Pine Grosbeaks, there seem to be no big irruptions so far. A few eye-catching Snowy Owls have been reported in the northern half of the United States.


Jon McCracken, Bird Studies Canada’s National Program Director, reminds participants in Canada and the U.S. to keep watch for snowies. He says, “The GBBC has done a terrific job of tracking irruptions of Snowy Owls southward over the past several years. We can’t predict what winter 2017 will bring, because Snowy Owl populations are so closely tied to unpredictable ‘cycles’ of lemmings in the Arctic. These cycles occur at intervals between two and six years.  Nevertheless, there are already reports of Snowy Owls as far south as Virginia.”


In addition to counting birds, the GBBC photo contest has also been a hit with participants since it was introduced in 2006. Since then, tens of thousands of stunning images have been submitted. For the 20th anniversary of the GBBC, the public is invited to vote for their favorite top photo from each of the past 11 years in a special album they will find on the GBBC website home page. Voting takes place during the four days of the GBBC.


Learn more about how to take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count at birdcount.org where downloadable instructions and an explanatory PowerPoint are available. The GBBC is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society with partner Bird Studies Canada and is made possible in part by sponsor Wild Birds Unlimited.