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The following is an excerpt from an article in the June 21 issue of The Wichita Eagle about WSU grad student Hannah Holden.

Grad student taking census of Wichita's snowy egrets

Thursday, June 27, 2013

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.

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Created on Thursday, June 27, 2013; Last modified on Thursday, June 27, 2013