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Spring turkey season got underway Tuesday, April 6, and hunters are being urged by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife to consider harvesting fewer birds than normal.

A flock of pectoral sandpipers flies along above the muddy area of a lake. These birds often feed with other shorebirds such as least and Baird’s sandpipers.

Pectoral sandpipers pass through Oklahoma each spring and fall as they migrate the great distance between their wintering and breeding grounds.

A young Mississippi kite perches on a tree branch. This bird is close to becoming an adult. It has lost the streaky brown feathers on its breast and belly; however, it is still rather dark overall, and has stripes on its tail. It will lighten in color as it grows and will lose the tail stripes.

Mississippi kites are common summer residents in southwest Oklahoma and are this week’s featured creature.

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Most of the wildlife-related bills introduced in the Oklahoma 2021 Legislative Session that I’ve been watching haven’t shown much recent movement.

An eared grebe in breeding plumage swims along in a lake. Note the intense black and chestnut coloring, red eyes and golden plumes fanning out behind the eyes. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology reports that, on cold, sunny mornings eared grebes sunbathe by facing away from the sun and raising their rumps, exposing dark underlying skin to light. I believe that is what this bird was doing when I photographed it.

This week’s featured creature is not real common in Southwestern Oklahoma, but it is a fall, winter and spring visitor.