Outdoors

Vultures will soon be soaring into spotlight

Looking for an opportunity to eat, these Turkey Vultures reviewed the trash remains left behind Monday on the street at the corner of South West Kessler Drive and South West Fascination Drive in Lee’s Summit. The vultures did not find anything to their liking and flew away.
Looking for an opportunity to eat, these Turkey Vultures reviewed the trash remains left behind Monday on the street at the corner of South West Kessler Drive and South West Fascination Drive in Lee’s Summit. The vultures did not find anything to their liking and flew away. jledford@kcstar.com

Every critter has its day. Even the lowly vulture.

Seriously.

The Missouri Department of Conservation will put on a Vulture Venture program Feb. 20 at its Shepherd of the Hills Hatchery on Lake Taneycomo to give the scavengers a little positive pub.

The program, which will run from noon to 5 p.m., will focus on the vulture’s valuable role in nature, serving as a scavenger of dead animals. Taneycomo is the perfect site for the event. Its canyon-like terrain lets vultures escape the winter wind, and tall sycamore trees along the banks serve as roost sites.

Because of those attributes, hundreds of vultures flock to the Ozarks body of water each winter.

Visitors to Vulture Venture will view the birds through spotting scopes, and they will get up-close looks at one of the captive, rehabilitated birds that will be displayed by the Wonders of Wildlife Museum in Springfield. Programs will talk of the vulture’s role in the ecosystem.

No reservations are required for the program. For more information, call the hatchery at 417-334-4865.

Bills would increase permit prices

Two bills that have been introduced to the Kansas House could end up costing hunters, fishermen, boaters and state-park users more for their next permits.

One bill would charge a “recreational water protection” fee of $10 for each boat registration, waterfowl-hunting permit and state-park permit. Funds would go to a “water depletion fund” in the state water plan.

The other bill would also charge a $10 fee but would be tacked onto each permit and license sold by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. Funds would go to Kansas state parks for efforts to increase access to waters of the state and maintenance of state fishing lakes.

Neither bill has been voted on yet.

Bird-watching event

Are you into watching birds at the feeder? If so, here’s an event for you.

From Friday through Monday you can participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count, a national event sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The event includes birders of all skill levels who count birds and provide details about the breakdown of species, then report their sightings to www.birdcount.org.

Researchers with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and other conservation organizations use the data to learn about trends in bird populations.

Firearms training courses set

The Parma Woods Shooting Range in Parkville will be the site of firearms training classes for beginners next week.

A session from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 18 will focus on the selection, mounting and zeroing of scopes. Then from 9 to 11 a.m. Feb. 20 there will be a class called Firearms Selection for the Beginner.

The classes, taught by the Missouri Department of Conservation, are free, but preregistration is required. Call 816-891-9941 to sign up.

Brent Frazee: 816-234-4319, @fishboybrent

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