Birds in Danger

The Center for Biological Diversity’s June 15 press release cited a federal report noting more than 60 migratory bird species are in need of conservation: https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/federal-report-more-than-260-migratory-bird-species-in-need-of-conservation-2021-06-15/

In the press release, you can find a link to the Excel file noting the species in trouble, and it is staggering. Think of the species in your part of the world that are regular visitors to your yard, the birds you see at area lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands. Imagine them gone. Birds we regularly see in Kansas on this list include the American white pelican, red-headed woodpecker, common nighthawk, chimney swift, rufous hummingbird, American coot, American avocet, lesser yellowlegs, Franklin’s and Ross’s gulls, common tern, little blue heron, northern harrier, belted kingfisher, orchard oriole, scarlet tanager, rose-breasted grosbeak, painted bunting, dickcissel, and the list goes on. The last four years did so much damage. Please support conservation in any way you can.

American avocet
Little blue heron
American coot
American white pelican
rose-breasted grosbeak
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Finally, a Wetlands’ Morning Without Rain

It was cooler and cloudy this morning, but just a few sprinkles. Many of the paths were covered with water, but I decided to risk walking through it. I’m glad I did!

Many egrets and a great blue heron!

Great egret
Great egret

I think the smaller one is a juvenile little blue heron.

Great egrets and juvenile little blue heron
Great egrets
Great egret and great blue heron
great blue heron

Frolicking muskrat youth. I counted five, but I only see four in this pic.

Juvenile muskrats
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Wetlands Updates

Finally, I am getting around to getting out to the Wetlands a bit more regularly. I always look forward to cold mornings when there are just a few humans on the paths. We nod at each other and sometimes share our stories of who we have been seeing. It is a kind of quiet community, and I would venture to say, one that brings some peace to many of us worrying about the current state of things. While we may not know what is coming, one thing I am sure about is my commitment to keep sharing and hoping more humans pay attention. Click on pictures to enlarge.

Not a great a picture, but I wanted to share this because I think this bald eagle couple might be contemplating a nest here. This would be a wonderful addition to the wetlands, and it looks like good real estate!

Bald eagles

© Chris Taylor

Northern Harrier trying to outmaneuver a group of sandpipers and a killdeer. They got away.

Northern Harrier

© Chris Taylor

Deer and coyotes.

Deer

© Chris Taylor

Coyote

© Chris Taylor

Coyote

© Chris Taylor

Bluebirds, goldfinches, and herons, oh my.

Eastern bluebird

© Chris Taylor

Eastern bluebird

© Chris Taylor

American goldfinch

© Chris Taylor

American goldfinch

© Chris Taylor

Great blue heron

© Chris Taylor

Great blue heron

© Chris Taylor

Wakarusa Wetlands

© Chris Taylor

 

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Wetlands Residents

It is that time of year again when I have trouble staying at my desk and getting my work done. The number of migrants at the Wakarusa Wetlands has been astounding. And, of course, the year-round residents like the deer and bald eagles are always a pleasure to see. Click on pictures to enlarge.

Pelican and ducks

© Chris Taylor

Great blue heron

© Chris Taylor

Bald eagle

© Chris Taylor

Male deer

© Chris Taylor

Running deer

© Chris Taylor

 

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Walking on water

I was watching a great blue heron come flying into the marina at Clinton Lake the other day, and to my surprise, she landed right in the water, picked up a fish, then flew off. It almost seemed like she was swimming like a pelican would. I have never seen one do that before. When she took off, she kind of did that running on water thing coots do when they take off super fast. It all happened so fast, but was amazing to watch. Click on pictures to enlarge.

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

© Chris Taylor

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