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Virtual Wings & Wetlands Festival set for March 24-26

HAYS – The Wings & Wetlands Festival sponsored by Fort Hays State University’s Kansas Wetlands Education Center will continue its tradition this year and will be offered virtually in 2021.

Participants in the festival – scheduled for March 24-26 – will have access to a series of live zoom classes, as well as live socials and on-demand web resources. Registration is $20 at

“We are excited to continue the Wings & Wetlands tradition this year, even without gathering in person at our awesome wetlands,” said Curtis Wolf, director of the Kansas Wetlands Education Center. “From health and humor to bird identification and diversity, the lineup of speakers and resources is sure to speak to anyone interested in birds, Kansas wetlands, and conservation, and will get everyone excited for the upcoming migration season.” 

Live Zoom programs will be offered each evening and are listed below. Kenn Kaufman – renowned field guide author, naturalist, and artist – will headline the evening presentations with a program titled Kansas Wetlands: Crossroads of the Bird World. Beyond the scheduled presentations, there will also be interactive Zoom socials each evening to allow participants time to interact with fellow bird enthusiasts. Various on-demand web links will also provide registrants with added birding skills, local birding information, and advice for planning your next trip to the central Kansas wetlands.  

Numerous organizations help organize the event, including the Kansas Wetlands Education Center; the Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau; the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism; The Nature Conservancy; and the Kansas Birding Festival, Inc. For more information, a full schedule of events, and registration information, visit or contact the KWEC at 1-877-243-9268. 

Presenters include:

• Alvaro Jaramillo, biologist, conservationist, and guide, will present the psychological benefits of birding.

• Sharon “The Bird Chick” Stiteler, will provide a comical presentation titled “Today’s Office.”

• Bob Gress with The Diversity of Birds on Kansas Wetlands.

• Robert Penner with Beginning Shorebird Identification for the Great Plains.

• Jason Wagner with Past and Future Management of Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area.

• Mike Oldham with Overview of Quivira NWR.

• Chuck Otte with Be a Better Birder: Techniques and Tricks for the Beginning Birder.

• Pat Silovsky with Masters of the Sky: Raptors, and Sharon Stiteler with SmartPhone Birding.