Annual Report 2001

This is the twenty-seventh annual report of the Wichita Audubon Society and Chaplin Nature Center. This report highlights the activities for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2002. The Wichita Audubon Society, Inc., is a chapter of the National Audubon Society, and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The Chaplin Nature Center is owned and operated by the Wichita Audubon Society, with operations directed by the CNC committee of the Board of Directors. The Wichita Audubon Society is committed to providing nature education, promoting environmental conservation, and encouraging appreciation of the natural world.


Chaplin Nature Center hosted 60 Girl Scouts for a week long day camp, ending with an overnight campout. It was the first time overnight camping has ever been allowed at CNC. It was a very successful week, with plans to come back next year.

Shawn presented a Water Exploration program at Chaplin Nature Center that let kids get wet and muddy while learning about the creatures that live in the ponds and streams.

Wichita Audubon received a grant of $1000 from the Forrest C. Lattner Foundation in memory of Forrest C and Frances H Lattner.


Chaplin Nature Center held a star and meteor watch, using the telescope to see double stars, globular clusters, galaxies, and the occasional meteor from the Perseid meteor shower.


The first field trip of the new season was to Quivira and Cheyenne Bottoms. It was a good trip, the highlights including Red-necked Phalaropes at Quivira and Sabine's Gulls at Cheyenne Bottoms.

The first program of the year was presented by a very distinguished speaker. Dr. Paul Johnsgard's talk dealt with types of grasslands, their ecologies and breeding birds. He also signed copies of his latest book, Prairie Birds: Fragile Splendor in the Great Plains.

A crowd of 45 people showed up at Chaplin Nature Center to help capture and tag Monarch butterflies. The epic journey of these fragile beauties during their migration to Mexico intrigues us all.

A good sized group traveled to Elkhart for a weekend of Morton County birding. Best birds were a flock of 40 Mountain Plovers in a plowed field, a Curve-billed Thrasher, a Sage Thrasher, and a Red-necked Phalaropes at the sewage ponds. Everyone detoured to Garden City to search for two Roseate Spoonbills that had been seen there. Those that stopped on Friday saw the birds. Those that waited until Sunday were too late.

On the Chisholm Creek field trip, led by Sandra Tholen, the group found a Sora Rail out in the open in the marsh. They also had good looks at a Lincoln's Sparrow.



The Kansas Ornithological Society Fall meeting was held in Wichita at the Great Plains Nature Center. Wichita Audubon helped by hosting the Friday night reception and providing snacks and drinks for breaks during the meeting.

Fall Nature Day at Chaplin Nature Center included a great presentation by Cynthia Ross, performing a characterization of her favorite author, Gene Stratton Porter. Porter was known as the "Bird Woman of Limberlost Swamp" because she loved birds and roamed the Indiana Swamp photographing and writing about nature. Ninety people attended the event. The lunch, country store, and silent auction raised more than $850.

The October meeting featured our own Roy Beckemeyer with the fascinating story of his trip to India. It included a look at archeological and cultural treasures as well as birds and wildlife.

Six people gave up their Saturday morning to clean up trash at Chisholm Creek Park, which is our commitment to the Greenways Association.

The Slate Creek Marsh field trip was led by Gene Young. They saw lots of LeConte's Sparrows, along with eight other sparrow species, marsh wrens, and a Sprague's Pipit.

Twelve people birded Maple Grove Cemetery, led by Cheryl Miller. The cool fall Saturday produced a late Eastern Phoebe and a multitude (at least a dozen) Red-breasted Nuthatches.

Wichita Audubon received a grant of $1000 from the Boeing company Charitable Trust to support out speaker program.


Pete Janzen led the field trip to Cheney Lake. The best bird was a first year California gull. Hundreds of Franklin's Gullls, Ring-billed gulls, Double-crested Cormorants, and White Pelicans were seen, along with two Common Loons way out on the water.

The November program was presented by Gene Young, Natural History Instructor at Cowley County Community College, on the impact of towers and tubines on Kansas birds.


The weather was more cooperative for this year's Christmas Bird Count than the previous year. Twenty people helped with the Wichita count, finding 88 species. Highlights included two Horned Grebes, one Ross' Goose, a Townsend's Solitaire, 332 Great-tailed Grackles, the first ever Eurasian Collared Dove, and two Orange-crowned Warblers.

The Arkansas City count included 29 Bald Eagles, 1 Virginia Rail (a first!), and 2 Greater Yellowlegs. Numbers of most other birds were down from previous years, no doubt an effect of the drought.

The El Dorado Christmas count highlights included 4 Winter wrens, 54 eastern Bluebirds, and 2 Townsend's Solitaires. Waterfowl numbers, except for Canada Geese, were low.

Wichita Audubon members also took part in the Quivira, Winfield, Harvey County, and Slate Creek Marsh counts.

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