Eurasian Wigeon

The male Eurasian wigeon (Mareca penelope) sports a distinctive look. His head is marked by contrast, thanks to his red-brown face, buffy cap, and blue-gray bill. But the remainder of his body is not less striking. His breast is a deep pink. At a distance, his back and sides may appear to be gray overall,Continue reading “Eurasian Wigeon”


The gadwall (Mareca strepera) is among the most plain-looking of American ducks. The male appears gray overall, an impression created by white feathers barred with black. The scapular feathers have a reddish-brown cast. Probably the most striking feature of the male gadwall is his solid black rump. His bill is also dark-colored. The female gadwallContinue reading “Gadwall”

Wood Duck

The gaudy male wood duck (Aix sponsa) is a sight not readily forgotten. Its head shines an iridescent green, except where crossed by bold white lines on the crest or extending in a U shape from the throat. Its eyes are bright red, while its bill is an interesting combination of yellow, red, white, andContinue reading “Wood Duck”

Fulvous Whistling-Duck

Although it’s called a duck, the fulvous whistling-duck (Dendrocygna bicolor) is remarkably gooselike, with its large body and long, gangling legs and neck.  On the other hand, it is far more striking in appearance than many geese.  Most of its body is a tawny cinnamon color (fulvous), contrasting with a black stripe running down theContinue reading “Fulvous Whistling-Duck”

5 Gifts for Birdwatchers

Is there a special birdwatcher in your life? You know, that person who never travels without binoculars and who remembers a location by that rare bird he added to his life list while visiting? Here are a few ways to bring a smile to his face this Christmas: Backyard Bird Feeder’s Bible: Every birdwatcher needsContinue reading “5 Gifts for Birdwatchers”

Black-Bellied Whistling-Duck

Even though it’s called a duck, the black-bellied whistling-duck (Dendrocygna autumnalis) is built more like a goose, with its tall stature enhanced by a particularly long neck and pair of legs.  Both males and females are strikingly patterned.  Their bodies are rusty chestnut overall, accented with black on the belly, flanks, and rump.  Their facesContinue reading “Black-Bellied Whistling-Duck”

Get Ready for July 2016

Summer can be very busy, but don’t forget to learn and brainstorm.  Spend some time enjoying nature, researching animals, and growing healthy plants. Brush up on your birdwatching vocabulary. Discover how wood type affects the sound of your guitar. Explore the 11 physiographic regions of Kansas. Learn about rare and popular breeds of livestock. ConsiderContinue reading “Get Ready for July 2016”

Get Ready for June 2016

June is just around the corner. Take some time to sharpen your knowledge of farming, music, crafts, and history.