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Photos of the Week: Kansas Nature and Wildlife

  • NWF Staff
  • PhotoZone
  • May 15, 2017

Check out some of our favorite photos from past National Wildlife photo contests. Each week we'll celebrate nature and wildlife from a different state and this week we're featuring the wildlife and wild places of Kansas!

Karen Borozinski writes this great spangled fritillary butterfly is "one of the many beautiful butterflies I was treated to on a hike through Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve." The Virginia resident used a Canon PowerShot S2 IS macro lens. A surprising number and variety of North American wildlife species, including butterflies, are quietly disappearing. Read about the U.S Biodiversity Crisis.

Sarah Ellis describes how she was driving through a small southeast Kansas town searching for painted buntings to photograph when she came upon a small herd of bison near a corn field, with several swallows swooping around them. The Kansas resident used a Canon 7D with a 500mm f/4 lens and 1.4x extended on a car window mount.

Wildlife photographer David Seibel made this image of a yellow-throated warbler in Bonner Springs, Kansas with a Canon 1D Mark IV and 500mm f/4 lens with a 2x teleconverter. He writes, "I had been envisioning this image for years before finally finding a bird that provided it." Read more about the story behind this photograph in Spring Jewel.

Nature photographer Robert Gress writes, "The birds spent the morning 'booming' on the lek." Fighting and displays are a way that male greater prairie-chickens compete to establish dominance. The Kansas resident captured the fight in Flint Hill, Kansas using a Canon 30D with a 500mm lens on a tripod. Watch the dance of the greater prairie-chicken.

Kansas resident Marisha Smith writes, "This wonderful colorful creature was one of two cecropia moth caterpillars that made their way into our peach trees. We watched them daily until they formed their chrysalis. They were odd but beautiful." Smith used a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H3.

Marty Wellington writes her "early morning study of sage revealed a unique perspective on a pink sunrise." The Kansas resident used a Nikon L810 to make this sunrise image in a Kansas prairie.

Kansas photographer Robert Gress spent time documenting a colony of endangered least terns in Wichita. "The chick was excited because its other parent had just arrived with a fish." Gress captured the moment with a Canon EOS 7D and 500mm lens with a 1.4x extender. Check out NWF's conservation blog, Least Terns: Life on the Edge.

Virginia resident Karen Borozinski photographed a bee collecting pollen from a sunflower in Coffey County, Kansas using a Canon PowerShot S2 IS with a supermacro lens. She writes, "It was amazing to observe how slowly the bees moved when weighted down with pollen." Native bees face many threats. Learn how you can help these indispensable pollinators in Being There for Bees.

Photographer David Seibel captured the moment "a strong tailwind provided a rare display of the beautiful, intricately patterned individual feathers on this blue-winged teal drake." The Kansas resident used a Canon 1D Mark IV with a 500mm f/4 lens and 1.4x teleconverter in Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, Kansas.

Robert Gress spent time photographing "this family of bobcats that took up rural residence in a farmyard" in Pawnee County, Kansas. The Kansas photographer caught "this frisky kitten playing with its mother's tail" using a Canon 7D with a 500mm lens. Learn more about bobcats with Ranger Rick!

Photographer David Seibel writes, "I keep a few bird feeders on my balcony year round and often enjoy seeing and photographing baby birds with their parents during the summer months. This adult male house finch repeatedly fed its babies on branches near the feeders." The Kansas resident used a Canon 1D Mark IV with a 500mm f/4 lens. Learn how to attract birds to your backyard habitat.

Wildlife photographer Mark Kreider made this image of a compass plant at Kauffman Museum's tallgrass prairie, where 15 species of grasses and more than 100 wildflower species have been restored. The Kansas resident used a Canon T1i with an 18-55mm macro lens on a tripod in late-afternoon, as the low sun lit up the golden leaf.

Kansas photographer Jacob Basler made this portrait of an indigo bunting near Kansas River using a Canon T3i with a 150-500mm lens. He jokes about the photo, "just a little bird chilling out by the river... singing its song and what not." Read Why Birders Love the Blues, from National Wildlife's archives.

Nature Photographer Judd Patterson shot "just another magical fall day on the tallgrass prairie of the Flint Hills" in Kansas's Konza Prairie with a Canon EOS 20D and 17-40mm f/4 lens. As the continent's grasslands are disappearing, so are the birds that depend on them.

Wildlife photographer Angela Classen made this frog portrait at Lake Shawnee in Topeka's Ted Ensley Gardens using a Canon Rebel XTi with a 70-300mm lens on a tripod. The Colorado resident writes, "The lily ponds at this garden always yield fun photo subjects: birds, dragonflies and other insects, and frogs. This little guy posed quite nicely for me although I feared he would dive into the pond at any moment."

Jeff Scheetz writes, "On a drive through Kansas we stopped at a rest area my wife heard a small 'peep' coming from a little bush. As we looked in, an American robin fledgling was calling out for his mom." The Missouri resident used a Nikon D50 with an 18-55mm lens. Check out the NWF blog, Bird Watching: The American Robin.

Kansas resident Janie Velghe made this image of an iris full bloom in her neighbor's backyard habitat using a Nikon D3100.

Nature Photographer Judd Patterson writes, "Like notes on a barbed-wire fence, this pair of scissor-tailed flycatchers sat next to a Kansas prairie." The Florida resident captured this moment with a Canon 7D, 500mm f/4 lens and 1.4x teleconverter.

Don Caffrey photographed "fall migration of snow and Canadian geese, by the thousands on their south route" through Quivira National Wildlife Refuge using a Sony A550 DSLR with a 50-500mm lens. Read Endangered Migrations and Amazing Wildlife Migrations, from National Wildlife.

Photographer Michael Watkins made this image of a monarch butterfly on tropical milkweed in his Kansas backyard habitat with a Canon 7D and 24-105mm lens. Learn about the fight to bring back North America's dwindling migratory monarchs and get how-to-help tips, including the importance of planting native milkweed.

More from the National Wildlife Federation:

Learn about NWF Affiliate the Kansas Wildlife Federation
Visit Kansas Wildlife Federation's Facebook Page
NWF blogs about Kansas
Find A Park: Kansas
National Wildlife Federation's South Central Regional Center
Nature's Witnesses: Powerful images of wilderness can inspire conservation

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