Backyard Bird Count draws a crowd

Participants in KWEC's Great Backyard Bird Count view geese from the nature trail on Saturday.

Several children and adults participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count on Saturday, Feb. 15. Led by Clint Helms, a Fort Hays State University graduate student, participants identified 11 bird species in 30 minutes.

The count, sponsored by Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology, included 130 snow geese, 410 Canada geese, 50 mallards and 50 northern pintail ducks. They also spotted 25 American goldfinches feeding at the KWEC’s bird feeders.

Before going on the bird count, participants learned more about some of Kansas’ backyard birds, including the American kestrel, our smallest falcon. Pippin, KWEC’s kestrel, was the star of the show, displaying his bold markings. With help from parents and grandparents, kids decorated a birdhouse gourd with a sunflower or camouflage design, which they took home for use by their own backyard birds.

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