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Archive for Monday, January 26, 2009

Nature program participants keep eyes out for eagles

Kansa, a 7-year-old, 14-pound bald eagle, eats raw deer meat from the gloved hand of Marty Birrell, director of the Prairie Park Nature Center, as she describes the bird to an audience at Sunday’s Kaw Valley Eagles Day, held at Free State High School. Eagles Day is an annual celebration of the bald eagle’s return to northeastern Kansas, but also puts the spotlight on other wild creatures.

Kansa, a 7-year-old, 14-pound bald eagle, eats raw deer meat from the gloved hand of Marty Birrell, director of the Prairie Park Nature Center, as she describes the bird to an audience at Sunday’s Kaw Valley Eagles Day, held at Free State High School. Eagles Day is an annual celebration of the bald eagle’s return to northeastern Kansas, but also puts the spotlight on other wild creatures.

January 26, 2009

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Nature program participants keep eyes out for eagles

An environmentally-friendly event soared on Sunday. The 13th annual Kaw Valley Eagles Day put Lawrence residents a little closer to nature. Enlarge video

If Eco Elvis has anything to say about it, children and parents attending Sunday’s Kaw Valley Eagles Day will be boogying to the tune of a cleaner environment.

Clad in a shimmering green jumpsuit made from soda can tops and frozen juice lids, Eco Elvis, an environmental evangelist from Kansas City, strummed a guitar and sang tunes like “Viva Las Vegans” and “Compost Hotel.”

“I’m here to get you all shook up about the environment,” he said, mugging for cameras by imitating the King’s trademark lip curl.

Eagles Day, now in its 13th year, is spearheaded by the Jayhawk Audubon Society with support from various groups including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“It’s mostly an opportunity for families ... to learn a lot about nature and things they don’t get to see on a regular basis,” said Joyce Wolf, program director for the Jayhawk Audubon Society. “It’s not just eagles, it’s nature in general.”

But eagles were the main attraction.

The Audubon Society organized several field trips to Clinton Lake early in the day, where people hoped to catch a glimpse of eagles in their natural environment.

But with parts of the lake frozen and many eagles instead living near the Kansas River where food is abundant, one of the groups saw only one eagle, Wolf said.

Lawrence resident Tim Manning brought his daughter Aidin, a second-grader at Broken Arrow School, to learn more about eagles. He said they often observe a brood of cardinals in their backyard. Although the Mannings didn’t get to see a bald eagle at the event, Aidin was busy building a cardboard bird house.

Manning said his family tries to attend similar events, and enjoys seeing animals at the Prairie Park Nature Center, 2730 Harper St. “We’re just proactive in doing things like that,” he said.

About 20 organizations, ranging from the Coast Guard Auxiliary to Westar Energy’s Green Team, set up educational booths in Free State’s foyer.

Naturalists from Prairie Park Nature Center aimed to show that all animals, whether an exotic macaw, a mean-looking rat snake or a hissing cockroach, have a unique place in the environment.

“They’re nature’s recyclers,” naturalist Tasha Schultz said of the hissing cockroach. “They have a spot in the ecosystem, and they’re important.”

Seeing creatures like the cockroach and participating in hands-on activities, such as dissecting owl pellets, are valuable ways to teach children about nature, Wolf said.

“We’re hoping that in total the whole day (fosters) a better understanding of nature in general, and how we fit into the big picture,” she said.

Comments

gert891 5 years, 11 months ago

why do i always hear about events AFTER they happen...I read this paper everyday ...maybe post events before they happen so we could actually attend.

Jonathan Kealing 5 years, 11 months ago

gert-Visit LJWorld.com/events (also accessible from the front page) to find out about events before they happen. This one, for instance, was entered on the calendar on Thursday.Jonathan KealingOnline editor

Deja Coffin 5 years, 11 months ago

Thanks Jonathan, I think I will start checking out the events page myself. I always read about these events and am like, "man wish I would have known about it". Guess now I don't have an excuse.

appleaday 5 years, 11 months ago

There were also ads in the paper about this event. I knew about it several weeks ago.

Deja Coffin 5 years, 11 months ago

Well snaps to apple...give yourself a pat on the back! I don't get the actual paper and only read things on here that people have commented on so I guess it's my own fault. Live and learn.

zzgoeb 5 years, 11 months ago

This was a great event!!! Thanks to the LJW for it's great coverage!!! As for finding out about it, this was promoted ON-LINE by LJW some weeks ago...why is that is it that it must be SOMEONE else's fault when some knucklehead misses an event...wake up man!

Deja Coffin 5 years, 11 months ago

well I did put the blame on me but if someone would like to send me a weekly reminder for the upcoming events for Lawrence and surrounding cities including garage sales and auctions I wouldn't be mad. I'd give you a big double thumbs up!!! Any takers? :-)

spankyandcranky 5 years, 11 months ago

I'm with gert891 on this one. Thanks to jkealing for the info. I only see the online version of the LJW and don't get any of the ads, apparently, so I guess I'll be checking the calendar page from now on ... didn't even know there was one. I feel STUPID.

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