Grad student taking census of Wichita's snowy egrets
A pint-size gray fluff ball peeps its head out of its twig nest, only to see its own tiny reflection in a mirror.
Just underneath, Hannah Holden – armed with her 6-foot ladder and a 15-foot mirror on a pole – scribbles her daily observations on a 5-by-7-inch note card.
After she finishes with this nest, there will be plenty more for her to examine.
Every year, approximately 4,000 migratory birds take up temporary residence in a tree line on North Doris, near 13th Street and I-235 in west Wichita, and this year it’s Holden’s job to track 30 of their nests.
Holden, 24, a student at Wichita State University, is writing her master’s thesis on the population dynamics of Wichita’s snowy egrets – what the colony’s rate of growth is. This is a two-year project for her.