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Birders benefit from waterfowl habitat program

Feb. 9, 2022

LITTLE ROCK — Duck hunters aren’t the only people who know and appreciate the soul-stirring sight of thousands of ducks, geese and other migratory birds descending on open fields in the Arkansas Delta. Each year, birders and other wildlife-watching enthusiasts flock to wetlands during winter to catch a glimpse of these birds as they make their annual trip between nesting grounds in the North and warmer breeding grounds below the frost belt. And thanks to the habitat offered by waterfowl-focused programs in Arkansas, these birdwatchers have more than 3,800-acres of private land to enjoy their passion through the end of winter.

Great Backyard Bird Count celebrates silver anniversary Feb. 18-21

Feb. 2, 2022

LITTLE ROCK — For a quarter of a century the annual Great Backyard Bird Count has been a bright spot for nature lovers. The 25th edition of the event is coming up February 18 through 21. Everyone is invited to join the count so their birds become part of the massive database used by scientists to track changes in bird populations over time. The Great Backyard Bird Count is a joint project of the National Audubon SocietyCornell Lab of Ornithology, and Birds Canada.

‘Wings Over Arkansas’ redesigned and ready to soar

Sept. 30, 2020

LITTLE ROCK – With the fall migration of many bird species beginning, birdwatching enthusiasts and educators are just as excited as the most avid waterfowl hunter, and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has a great way to bring more birders into the watchable wildlife ranks. After 20 years the AGFC’s Wings Over Arkansas program has been revamped and is ready to share the outdoors with more people than ever before.

Swallow-tailed kites successfully raise young in Arkansas after 130-year absence

Sept. 16, 2020

FOUKE — With less than a year before his scheduled retirement, Mike Harris, an Arkansas Game and Fish Commission senior technician at Sulphur River Wildlife Management Area, completed a quest that’s been a decade in the making — documenting the first pair of swallow-tailed kites to successfully raise young in Arkansas since 1890. With the help of a live photo from an iPhone, showing adult kites feeding a fledgling, the Arkansas Audubon Society Bird Records Committee confirmed his finding in August.

Beat cabin fever with birdwatching

March 25, 2020

LITTLE ROCK — Spring is in the air, and many Arkansans are looking for reasons to break away from the house and explore The Natural State. According to Karen Rowe, nongame bird program leader for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, birdwatching (called “birding” by those who pursue the interest in earnest) is not only a fun way to beat cabin fever, but it also can help conservation efforts.

Tracking trumpeter swan leads back to Iowa research group

Jan. 31, 2018

HEBER SPRINGS – Teamwork between wildlife photographers, birders and others around the country determined that a collared trumpeter swan spotted in Cleburne County recently was part of a tracking survey that began last summer in Iowa.

As Karen Rowe, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s nongame migratory bird program coordinator, said, “It literally took a village to find out where this bird had originated.”

Roseate spoonbills offer birders odd opportunities during final throes of summer

Oct. 18, 2017

With cooler weather finally on the horizon, many birders are itching to get out and view some of the Neotropical migrants that make their way through The Natural State each fall. But the roseate spoonbill makes an odd appearance during late summer and early fall, briefly travelling north to Arkansas for a visit before returning to its home in the tropics.