Wetland Explorer

The Wetland Explorer-Wonders of Migration

A group of snowy egrets perch on a water control structure at Cheyenne Bottoms.  Snowy egrets are a migratory species that spends its summers at Cheyenne Bottoms, but will migrate south for the winter. (Photo by Dan Witt)

This article appeared in the Great Bend Tribune on Sunday, August 24 as part of the monthly KWEC column, The Wetland Explorer. Let me introduce you to a new Scrabble word guaranteed to give you a win if you can pull it off…zugunruhe (pronounced zue-gun-rue).  I’d venture to say that this is a word you have never heard before.  So, what does this have to do with the Wetland Explorer?  Zugunruhe is a German word that literally [...]

The Wetland Explorer-Winter Visitors

Snowy Owl

This article appeared in the Great Bend Tribune on Sunday, February 16 as part of the monthly KWEC column, The Wetland Explorer. Often, when people talk about big white birds being seen at Cheyenne Bottoms, the immediate thing that comes to mind is whooping cranes, the endangered birds that migrate through the Cheyenne Bottoms area every Spring and Fall.  However, when visitors come in the Kansas Wetlands Education Center this time of year and talk [...]

Flight of the dragonfly

lily-dragonfly-print-med

By Pam Martin KDWPT educator at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center This article was printed in the Sept. 15 issue of The Great Bend Tribune. Twisting and turning, hovering here for a few seconds then changing course and darting the opposite direction, watching dragonflies can be as entertaining as attending an air show. Lately, Barton County residents have been treated to this spectacle in their backyards. Dragonfly swarms have been growing since the late July [...]

The Wetland Explorer – 101 Ways to Help Birds

Red-winged blackbirds converge on bird feeders at the KWEC this winter.  Blackbirds can be a nuisance.  Removing your feeders for a few days when nuisance birds are overtaking them is one way you can help other bird species.

This article appeared in the Great Bend Tribune on Sunday, May 19 as part of the monthly KWEC column, The Wetland Explorer. Saturday, April 27 was one of the bigger days of events for the Kansas Wetlands Education Center with three very different scheduled events taking place.  The morning had the first-ever Wild Goose Chase 5k and 1 mile Fun Run at Cheyenne Bottoms with 160 participants running or walking over the dike roads.   For [...]

The Wetland Explorer – Fear the Fear

tarantula

This article appeared in the Great Bend Tribune on Sunday, February 17 as part of the monthly KWEC column, The Wetland Explorer. What are you most afraid of?  The dark?  Spiders?  Snakes?  Things that go bump in the night?  Many of the common fears expressed by humans relate back to animals.  You are probably aware of arachnophobia (the fear of spiders), but are you familiar with some of these other common animal phobias- Ophidiophobia (snakes), [...]

And then there was water!

The Kiosk for the Kansas Wetlands Education Center

After a night of hard and steady rain, Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area has a little water once again. While most wetlands lack standing water for some parts of the year, Cheyenne Bottoms has gone through a long period of drought. This has left the area without water for many months, which has affected the local wildlife communities as well as migrations. Cheyenne Bottoms is limited to precipitation in the form of stream discharge, river diversion, and surface run-off. With both Blood [...]

The Wetland Explorer – Celebrate World Wetlands Day!

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This article appeared in the Great Bend Tribune on Sunday, January 27th as part of the monthly KWEC column, The Wetland Explorer. What will you be doing on February 2nd?  Spending a quiet Saturday at home?  Taking the family out for some winter fun?  How about taking a moment to celebrate all the amazing things wetlands do for our environment? February 2nd is World Wetlands Day!  It marks the 1971 signing of the Ramsar Convention, [...]

Wetland Explorer: Squirrels offer winter entertainment

fox squirrel at feeder

By Pam Martin Kansas Department Wildlife, Parks and Tourism educator People who feed birds often curse them, but for viewing fun, you can’t beat a fox squirrel. With tree branches stripped of leaves, these furry aerialists’ antics are easily viewed from the comfort of your home during the winter season. A fox squirrel strikes a familiar pose at one of its favorite food sources, a bird feeder. Although considered a pest by many who feed [...]