Saturday, September 29, 2012

Jr. Duck Stamp Ambassador- Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

I am very honored to have been asked to serve as an Ambassador for the Jr. Duck Stamp program. I am currently in Utah, along with 4 other ambassadors, for a three day workshop put on by the Fish and Wildlife Service to help us learn more about their programs and how to better connect Jr. Duck Stamps with "Adult" Federal Duck Stamps. Why Utah? To start, Weber State University in Ogden is hosting the judging of the Federal Duck Stamp contest. We watched and helped with the first day of judging today. Tomorrow we'll see the 2nd and 3rd rounds of judging and the next Duck Stamp will be selected! (You can watch it stream live starting tomorrow morning here: I will share more about the judging process and the amazing artwork in the next day or two, but first, I wanted to tell you about our adventure yesterday.

Mountains at Sunrise
Utah is home to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. The refuge is a 76,000-acre area of protected habitat for over 250 species of birds and many other animals. We enjoyed the auto tour through the wetlands where we saw many different species of birds and mammals, learned about some invasive plant species (a big thumbs down to phragmites!), and experienced tons and tons of non-biting mosquito-looking insects called midge.
 The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is a perfect example of what Duck Stamps can do. Duck Stamps are not just about hunting, they are about conservation. 98 cents of every dollar generated from sale of Duck Stamps goes to securing lands for protection. The refuge is an important haven for migratory birds in the middle of the desert. Without the habitat, well, things would not be looking good for these birds.
I took a ton of photos that will be great references for my students when we talk about wetland habitats at the beginning of our Jr. Duck Stamp project in the spring. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to photograph some other wildlife besides ducks and geese like pheasant, grebe, avocet, herons, pelicans, coot, and even a raccoon. I've deleted some photos and now total 376 from yesterday, which is obviously too many to share, so I'll just post some of my favorites.

I'm not used to seeing mountains everywhere! I love the Kansas landscape and think it's beautiful, but this is beautiful in a different way.


  1. Thanks for visiting our Refuge, state and being such a great Jr. Duck Stamp Ambassador!

  2. Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your experience. I love the Jr. Duck Stamp Program!