Find a field at sunrise on a winter morning and witness thousands of blackbirds heading out for the day.
The KDWPT recently authorized the use of artificial light and thermal imagining equipment to hunt coyotes at night. Yes, that’s right; they are going to do everything they can to wipe them out. There is no scientific evidence behind this, but there is plenty of ignorance and bloodlust. Looking at the minutes from the meeting, it is shameful how they spun this without offering any scholarly evidence to support it. I guess in the age of Trump, I should not be surprised by this kind of dishonesty. Not only did they admit they have no clue what the Kansas coyote population is, it takes a special kind of asshole to say, “…this did generate a certain amount of animal rights responses, most of those were why kill the coyote, driving into extinction and the general anti-consumption these groups provide. If commissioners get an email and it sounds like it is not from a Kansas resident, google it and it will show where they posted before where these people are into animal rights. Legitimate stakeholders who have contacted me, I only had one negative response…” (Lauber, 2020). I am a legitimate stakeholder and a Kansan who is not in favor of this, and I am not alone.
We are seeing quite a few juvenile ruby-throats now. After such a slow spring and summer, it is so good to see them jostling over the feeders!
The Climate Strike is a great tool to raise awareness, but among those walking out tomorrow in my hometown, the cognitive dissonance abounds. Animal agriculture is the number one contributor to climate change. Stop denying this and we might get somewhere.
Cardinal fledglings seem to be everywhere right now. I’m so glad to see so many in our yard this summer. It’s been a tough one with the heat and severe storms just about every other day, several free-roaming neighborhood cats, and a Cooper’s hawk nest nearby.
I am loving the crisp mornings we’ve had the last few days. The tree swallows are here in abundance now; pied-billed grebes are popping up in all the ponds and marshes; the wood ducks are in the owl box; herons are dancing around everywhere. The moon is full and glorious.
I went for a long walk in the wetlands this morning. Just as I was leaving, a bald eagle came swirling high above. It was amazing to watch them circling lower and lower before dropping down to the water and snatching a fish with such precision. I never get tired of seeing their speed and agility. I have not pinpointed where the nest is, but I know there is one nearby.
One of the best things about cold days at the wetlands is how few humans are around. Fewer humans means I get to see more mammals, and that means coyotes. I love how they watch me from a safe distance. This one was getting ready to turn down the path I was on, saw me, thought better of it, and backed up into some brush. I stopped and waited for her thinking she would come back out and go where she needed to. Sure enough, she came out and ran off in the other direction. It is always a gift to watch them.
It was 16 degrees when I started at the wetlands this morning, so I had it to myself. I got some amazing looks at this norther harrier who landed on the pole right in front of me. It was incredible to see him fly in. He didn’t stay long, but moved to a nearby tree, did a little shrieking, and then was joined by another harrier. They took off together. Wonderful!
Check out the latest issue of The New Territory with a focus on sanctuaries. An essay on the Wakarusa Wetlands by Soren Larsen and Jay T. Johnson is included with some pictures by yours truly.
The New Territory Issue 07: