Tag Archives: waterfowl

Proposed sandhill crane season in Kentucky controversial

If you’re looking to hunt a sandhill crane, you might be interested in the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting today.  On the agenda is a proposal to make the Bluegrass State (actually a commonwealth) the first state east of the Mississippi river to offer sandhill hunting.

Biologists for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources have decided that since the flock has recovered from near-extinction levels to today, where seeing a sandhill is a commonplace occurrence, it’s time to offer hunters a chance to harvest a few of the birds.

Not surprisingly, there are a few people upset by the proposal.  According to media reports, the primary flack has come from bird watchers.  The spokesman for the Kentucky Coalition for Sandhill Cranes, Ben Yendall, was quoted as saying “…the fundamental basis of our objection…(is that) the birds haven’t been hunted in Kentucky in nearly 100 years. There’s no emergency to go out and start hunting these birds.”

We would note that, at the speed which regulatory processes move, it’s a good thing that this isn’t an emergency.  It is our opinion that Mr. Yendall and his group wouldn’t be happy if crane hunting wasn’t started for another 50 years.

By the way, though the huge migratory birds might seem a gangly, easy target for gunners, those who have hunted the cranes note that they are extremely wary and challenging to hunt.

Read more: Proposal for Kentucky sandhill crane hunting season ruffles some feathers | The Courier-Journal | courier-journal.com.


Photo: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Endangered Least Tern numbers up in Indiana

From the Associated Press via WTHR.com

East Mount Carmel – State wildlife official say Indiana’s populations of an endangered water-loving bird are on the rise in the state’s southwestern corner.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources says Indiana’s least tern populations have grown significantly since a single pair of the petite shorebirds were found in Gibson County in 1986.

The DNR says about 150 least tern adults were found last year in that region and those birds reared a record-high 165 young.

DNR nongame bird biologist John Castrale says the federally endangered bird’s resurgence is a result of “hard work” by government agencies and business partners who have provided suitable habitat for the bird and worked to protect them predators and disturbances.

One of the bird’s nesting sites is near a cooling lake for a Duke Energy power plant.

Story Link: Indiana’s populations of endangered bird on the rise – 13 WTHR.


photo: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Duck makes nest in Mishawaka parking lot

It’s not unusual to see mom and the kids at the mall, but it is noteworthy when the mother in question is wearing nothing but feathers.

In Mishawaka, a female duck has made a nest in front of the Barnes & Noble store at University Park Mall.   The duck has become a local celebrity and even been featured on South Bend television.

Read more:

Duck makes home in Mishawaka mall parking lot – Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports.



photo: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Marsh Madness This Weekend

Tickets on sale for March’s Marsh Madness festival

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:


Marsh Madness, a community-based March bird festival featuring the sandhill crane and waterfowl migration at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area, is set for March 4-6, based in Linton’s Humphrey’s Park.

Festivities kick off March 4 at 6:30 p.m. with a sneak peak of the Bill Barnes documentary “Goose Pond: A Story of a Wetlands and Its Neighbors,” set at the Linton Elks’ Lodge. In addition to the documentary, there will be a silent auction, hors d’oeuvres, and a cash
bar. All proceeds from the March 4 event will go toward the Goose Pond visitors center.

Tickets that include the March 4 activities and festival admission on March 5 are limited and available now. For information see http://www.marshmadness.info.

Cost is $35 for single and $50 for a couple. A limited number of tables
for eight and 10 people also are available. Those without tickets on
March 5 will be charged a $5 entrance fee. Children younger than 3 will
be admitted free on March 5.  Admission on March 6 is free for all.

Festival goers can attend workshops on such topics as photography,
bird banding and backyard wildlife habitat at various venues in
Humphrey’s Park and in Linton. Activities for kids will include art and
coloring contests, and bird house and bird feeder construction. Some
festival workshops, such as the one on photography, require advance
registration at (812) 847-0165.

On March 5, self-guided tours of the surrounding area to marvel at
the annual bird migration will be offered.  Hourly guided bus tours from
Humphrey Park’s East Cabin will be offered from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Leslie
Grow, from the Dwight Chamberlain Raptor Center at Hardy Lake will give
presentations and display several birds of prey, including a bald

A craft and vendor fair will also be held during the day March 5, and on March 6, from noon-5 p.m., at Humphrey’s Park.

Some workshops and seminars will take place at other venues in
Linton, such as the Carnegie Heritage and Arts Center of Greene County.

Link to this event:


Goose season still going

We passed a huge flock of geese yesterday evening at dusk as they headed for their roost.  It reminded us that there are still a few more opportunities to pester what was formerly the Lord of the Skies but is now known as Sky Carp, Despoiler of Lawns.

From the Indiana DNR:

Indiana DNR has passed a temporary rule continuing the February Canada goose hunting season. The dates this year are Feb. 1-15.

The season will be open in selected counties to control the population of breeding Canada geese around urban areas.

Counties where geese can be hunted during this season include: Adams, Allen, Boone, Clay, DeKalb, Elkhart, Greene, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Huntington, Johnson, Kosciusko, LaGrange, La Porte, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Morgan, Noble, Parke, Shelby, Starke, Steuben, St. Joseph, Sullivan, Vermillion, Vigo, Wells and Whitley.

Adam Phelps, DNR wildlife biologist, estimates that 5,400 Canada geese were harvested during the February 2010 season, about 900 fewer than in February 2009. He estimated the total late-season harvest across all three years to be 15,800 geese.

To meet guidelines from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, at least 80 percent of the geese harvested during the three-year experimental period needed to be the giant Canada goose. This is the goose that commonly breeds in Indiana and surrounding states.

“Most of the hunt zone was well over the 80 percent mark,” Phelps said, “but the counties around Terre Haute did not meet that criterion.”

The “experimental” status of the season ended in 2010, so most of the late goose counties will no longer need to check in geese; however, because the Terre Haute area didn’t meet the 80 percent criterion, geese harvested in those counties-Clay, Greene, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion, and Vigo-still need to be checked.

Link to this event: http://www.in.gov/portal/news_events/65364.htm

Photo: USFWS

Eagles in Flight 2011

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

Turkey Run State Park and Raccoon State Recreation Area are teaming up to offer a weekend of programming centered around the majestic bald eagle, Feb. 4-6. Activities include talks featuring live owls and raptors, presentations on birding, and road trips to eagle roosting and nesting sites.

The activities will be based at the Turkey Run Inn. There is a program fee of $25 per adult and $20 per child ages 4-12. Children age 3 and younger will be admitted free of charge. These fees cover costs for all weekend programs as well as the two bus tours.

To make lodging reservations at Turkey Run Inn call 1-877-563-4371 or go to www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/inns/turkeyrun/.  Be sure to reference group code 0204EW when making a reservation.

Standard weekend park entrance fees of $5 for in-state vehicles and $7 for out-of-state vehicles will be charged. For more information about this event visit www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/files/sp-Raccoon_EagleWeekend.pdf or call (765) 597-2654.

photo: NASA