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FWS lists prairie chicken as threatened -3/28/2014, 9:47 AM

Whooping cranes reach Kansas; winter numbers up slightly -3/28/2014, 8:35 AM

Ferret numbers still tumbling -3/28/2014, 8:35 AM

Oklahoma, oil group suing FWS -3/20/2014, 9:59 AM

Divining rod for discs -3/20/2014, 9:59 AM

Despite valiant effort, no success in finding snowy owl -3/14/2014, 9:27 AM

Capturing the moment -3/14/2014, 9:27 AM

Kansas: Not so flat after all -3/7/2014, 3:49 PM

Rod, reel a good fit -2/28/2014, 7:53 AM

Spring just a snowstorm or so away -2/28/2014, 7:53 AM

At 90: Best deer ever -2/21/2014, 10:33 AM

Tests confirm 5 new CWD cases -2/14/2014, 10:13 AM

Senate votes to invoke 'sovereignty' over state's prairie chickens -2/14/2014, 10:13 AM

KNRC to deliver report, asking for more money from member counties -2/7/2014, 10:50 AM

Group flunks states, federal agencies dealing with prairie dogs -2/7/2014, 12:12 PM

Brownback ready to sue feds -2/7/2014, 10:50 AM

Big oil companies bankrolling conservation plan -2/6/2014, 10:50 AM

Audubon blasts 'sovereign' bill -1/31/2014, 9:49 AM

Feds again asking for listing comments -1/31/2014, 9:48 AM

Utilities enrolling in program -1/31/2014, 9:48 AM

Listing controversy continues -1/17/2014, 10:30 AM

Friends on the water -12/20/2013, 9:54 AM

Federal wildlife agency lays out rules for oil, gas protection -12/20/2013, 9:54 AM

A beckoning -12/13/2013, 9:08 AM

Listing more likely as FWS adds rules -12/13/2013, 8:59 AM

It's happening right before our eyes! -11/29/2013, 10:28 AM

Governor's Ringneck Classic draws a crowd -11/22/2013, 9:29 AM

Drought saps pheasant numbers -11/8/2013, 6:50 PM

Sporting clays sure to be hot at hunt -11/8/2013, 6:50 PM

Counties set to talk chickens -11/1/2013, 12:08 PM

Dangerous delight -10/18/2013, 9:44 AM

Coping with (more) bad habits -10/11/2013, 12:01 PM

Celebrating fossil discoveries -10/11/2013, 11:51 AM

Making a wish come true -9/27/2013, 11:39 AM

Prairie chicken numbers tumble -9/27/2013, 11:39 AM

Counties meet FWS, present plans -9/20/2013, 12:25 PM

Oakley man in pursuit of grouse -9/13/2013, 11:23 AM

Counties hoping to halt listing -9/6/2013, 11:54 AM

Going outdoors -8/23/2013, 10:15 AM

Wetlands no longer bone dry -8/16/2013, 11:46 AM

Duck numbers remain strong -7/26/2013, 11:48 AM

Updated survey, conservation plan upcoming -7/26/2013, 11:39 AM

Pheasant outlook not so bright -7/19/2013, 11:48 AM

High heat, strong winds finally show a beneficial side -7/12/2013, 12:05 PM

FWS delay reopens comment period -7/12/2013, 12:05 PM

Study refutes wind tower effect on greater prairie chickens -7/12/2013, 12:05 PM

Flowering cacti drought's treat -6/21/2013, 11:58 AM

Building a bridge over a key spring -6/14/2013, 9:57 AM

Country matters: Lemon painted-cup taking over -6/7/2013, 8:52 AM

Wind dampens great camping -5/31/2013, 12:22 PM

Wildlife benefits can boost CRP offers -5/24/2013, 11:42 AM

Camping season begins -5/24/2013, 11:42 AM

Field day focuses on wildlife needs -5/17/2013, 11:52 AM

FWS making big changes for LEPC rule -5/10/2013, 2:14 PM

Pheasants Forever biologists planning workshops on CRP enrollment -5/10/2013, 2:14 PM

Conservation plan nearly complete -5/3/2013, 10:31 AM

Final prairie chicken meeting upcoming -4/26/2013, 8:31 AM

Wildlife highlights Trego forestry day -4/26/2013, 8:31 AM

NRCS recognizes area volunteers -4/26/2013, 8:30 AM

Learning to cope -4/19/2013, 9:30 AM

Legislature weighing in on ferrets -2/15/2013, 9:50 AM

New meetings set on chickens -2/15/2013, 9:50 AM

Wildlife watching tops outdoors -9/28/2012, 11:38 AM

Drought dries up waterfowl area -9/14/2012, 11:59 AM

Holiday blast expected despite lower water -8/24/2012, 10:05 AM

Fate of lesser prairie chickens in air -8/17/2012, 1:46 PM

What to do when the doves fly away -- too early -8/17/2012, 11:40 AM

Logan County seeking court review -8/10/2012, 12:53 PM

Youth outdoor festival fast approaching -8/10/2012, 12:52 PM

Opinions mixed on CRP release -8/3/2012, 12:09 PM

NRA asks to intervene in federal lead-ban lawsuit -8/3/2012, 11:33 AM

Water levels precarious -7/27/2012, 12:57 PM

Drought allowing predators to snatch up newborn pronghorns -7/27/2012, 12:57 PM

Cedar Bluff a boost to economy -7/27/2012, 12:57 PM

Court ruling brings mixed response -7/20/2012, 2:12 PM

Dry weather a concern for wildlife -7/20/2012, 2:12 PM

Lion or bobcat? Opinions differ on photo -7/20/2012, 2:12 PM

Stockton brothers take second at state fishing tournament -7/13/2012, 10:36 AM

Duck numbers are up as habitat declines -7/13/2012, 10:36 AM

Baby dove shows resilience after attempted rescue -7/13/2012, 10:54 AM

Heat taking toll on state lakes -7/6/2012, 8:30 AM

Critters hide out during the heat of day as well -7/6/2012, 8:28 AM

Drought a concern for pheasants -6/29/2012, 12:55 PM

Court poised to hear appeal -5/11/2012, 11:36 AM

While ferret count is down, survival rate seen as strong -5/11/2012, 11:36 AM

Monument Rocks graces calendar -5/4/2012, 11:37 AM

Kansas the place to go for pheasants -5/4/2012, 11:36 AM

There's no need for camo here, pajamas, coffee will do just fine -4/20/2012, 11:36 AM

EPA turns aside request to ban lead -4/13/2012, 11:37 AM

High-soaring red-tailed hawks remain regal in life and death -4/13/2012, 11:37 AM

USDA program aiding chickens -4/6/2012, 11:37 AM

CRP sign-up extended -4/6/2012, 11:37 AM

Logan commission, FWS talk ferrets -4/6/2012, 11:36 AM

Groups again ask EPA to ban lead use in ammunition -3/30/2012, 11:37 AM

Bird remains regal, even in death -3/30/2012, 11:37 AM

Saturday a free day at Kansas parks -3/30/2012, 11:37 AM

Fifth CWD case turns up in Norton -3/30/2012, 11:37 AM

Walleye wonder -3/23/2012, 2:05 PM

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SPOTLIGHT
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Quivira sees first whooping crane

Published on -10/24/2011, 11:26 AM

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By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

A momentary rush of excitement filled the Kansas birding world Thursday morning as word spread that the first whooping crane of the year had set down at the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge.

But it was only a quick stop, Quivira officials said, and the bird was soon winging its way south once again.

The sighting -- or the anticipation of one -- was enough for the birdwatching world to spring into action, mirroring at least part of what is depicted in movie theaters nationwide.

Quivira visitor services specialist Barry Jones timed the event just right, sending out notice that the first birds of the only remaining naturally migrating flock of whooping cranes had started its 2,600-mile migration from Canada to Texas.

Generally, the birds pass through Kansas as they make the trip.

And when they arrive, dedicated birdwatchers are quick to head out to either Quivira or Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Management Area in hopes of spotting the endangered bird.

The migration nearly matches the release of the movie "The Big Year," a tale of avid birders who stop at almost nothing to complete their life lists, a compendium of species -- rare and common.

In reality, Jones said the birds -- the tallest species in North America -- are frequent but unpredictable visitors to Quivira. In a normal year, anywhere from two to five birds can be seen in the area from late October through early November.

Over the past two years, however, whooping cranes have stopped at Quivira and Cheyenne Bottoms in huge numbers, relative to their total population.

In 2009, for example, 112 cranes stopped at Quivira during the fall migration. In the spring of 2010, 76 birds were on the ground on April 1, with as many as 25 in a single group.

This year's naturally migrating whooping crane population -- with about 37 chicks fledged from 75 nests -- should number nearly 300.

Twelve young birds were captured at Wood Buffalo National Park in Canada in August and fitted with radio collars, bring the total of collared birds to 23.

The tracking is the first in 25 years, brought about because of extensive losses during migration.

Since the 1950s, 525 whooping cranes have died during migration, but only 50 carcasses have been recovered, according to Tom Stehn, who recently retired as whooping crane coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"It is imperative that we learn more about whooping crane mortality," Stehn wrote in his final report on the status of the birds.

There are three other whooping crane flocks in addition to the naturally migrating group. There are 115 in the Wisconsin to Florida ultra-light aircraft-led flock, 20 non-migratory birds in Florida and 24 in Louisiana.

Another 162 cranes are in captivity, making for a total population of 599 birds.

Jones is asking anyone seeing a whooping crane to note the time and location, and report the sighting to the refuge. Sightings can be called in to the refuge at (620) 486-2393.

More on the whooping cranes at Quivira can be found on the refuge website at www.fws.gov/quivira.

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