A chance for a guided outdoors photographic safari is one of the prizes to be given away at this evening’s Wichita Eagle annual Christmas Open House. As well as tours of the The Eagle, visitors can meet and visit with staff members.
I’ll be guiding the outdoors photo trip. trying to customize the day towards the winner’s preferences.
A solid possibility would be a morning in a blind at the edge of one of the better lesser prairie chicken leks in Kansas in Edwards County. There, good numbers of male birds will have gathered to call, dance, display and fight for their right to breed and keep the species going. As well as a great opportunity for photography, it’s one of the most coveted birding events in the nation. Lesser prairie chickens are on the cusp of being classified as “threatened” by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Kansas probably has about 90 percent of the world’s population, and this section of sandhills holds some of Kansas’ top densities.
Another option would be a fall afternoon at the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. Photo opportunities should include big whitetail bucks chasing does across the prairie, assorted songbirds in thickets and a variety of birds of prey at work. If all goes well, there could be some neat sunset photos at Quivira’s legendary Big Salt Marsh, where hundreds of thousands of ducks, geese and sandhill cranes gather when conditions are right.
The winner is allowed to bring a guest. Photo equipment can be loaned, if needed. The winner is responsible for their own transportation to the general area.