Date: 9/11/17 8:55 am
From: EUGENE YOUNG <EUGENE.YOUNG...>
Subject: Re: Subject: Playa
Often, ephemeral wetlands...

Eugene A. Young


Agriculture, Science & Engineering
1220 E. Grand, PO Box 310
Tonkawa, OK, 74653-0310
Phone: 580-628-6482
Fax: 580-628-6209
E-Mail: <Eugene.Young...>
Website: www.noc.edu

-----Original Message-----
From: Birds & Their Habitats in Kansas [mailto:<KSBIRD-L...>] On Behalf Of coleen brown
Sent: Monday, September 11, 2017 10:30 AM
To: <KSBIRD-L...>
Subject: Re: Subject: Playa

So what would you call a low lying field that regularly floods?
Coleen Brown, Manhattan, KS


Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone


-------- Original message --------
From: Chris Hobbs <chobbs.f1...>
Date: 9/10/17 8:14 PM (GMT-06:00)
To: <KSBIRD-L...>
Subject: Re: Subject: Playa

Sounds like 'lagoon' for some, 'playas' for others, and 'floodles' for those who like informal, yet descriptive names.

Chris Hobbs
Lenexa
<chobbs.f1...>

On Sep 10, 2017 6:55 PM, "Tom SHANE" <tom.shane...> wrote:

> Mr. Burkepile and Kansas birders, I have thought about your question
> several times in recent decades, but did not follow-up on the topic.
> The first playa where I remember watching birds was just northwest of
> the town of Plains in western Meade County on July 4th, 1964. There
> was a good variety of birds there, including a male Cinnamon Teal
> along with Yellow-headed Blackbirds which I recorded in my field
> notes. I recorded the place as a marsh. When Sara, a Scott County
> native, and I were first married she, along with her father, uncle and
> brothers just called them ponds. We both call them playas now, but
> cannot give you a date of the transition.
>
> The following is only a scratch on the surface of the topic. I made a
> quick check of the publications in my library that could shed some
> light on the subject. The index for the Transaction of the Kansas
> Academy of Science
> (TKAS) covering the period 1872 through 1965, has no entries for
> playa. The run of publications including a thesis, directories and
> Birds in or of Kansas, including: Long 1935; Goodrich 1946; Tordoff
> 1956; Johnston 1960, 1964, & 1965; Rising 1974; Thompson and Ely 1989;
> do not mention playas in the opening sections of those publications.
> TEGOPSY (2011) Birds of Kansas mentions "ephemeral playas" once in the
> paragraph on natural lakes. Mosby & Lynn (1956) Water Birds Resident
> in Kansas in Summer, 1955. TKAS, does not list types of water features
> other than lakes & ponds. Zuvanich & McHenry
> (1964) Comparisons of Water Birds Observed in Kansas in 1955 and 1963.
> TKAS, mention water features such as: sewer lake, marsh, state & city
> lakes, reservoir, pond, slough, and surface water. It is apparent that
> they called playas, "surface water" by the locations mentioned. The
> first paper on birds and playa lakes in Kansas was most likely by Tom
> Flowers (1996) Classification and Occurrence of the Birds of the Playa
> Lakes of Meade County, Kansas. KOS Bull. 47(2): 21-28.,
> <http://www.ksbirds.org/kos/ bulletin/Vol47No2.pdf>.
>
> Doc Sutton in his 1967 book, Oklahoma Birds, does not mention playa
> but apparently describes one nicely ------ "Webb Lake (near Hardesty,
> Texas County), an impressive body of water when there has been plenty
> of rain, but dry as a bone in periods of severe drought." Baumgartner
> & Baumgartner
> (1992) Oklahoma Bird Life, has a photo of and labels the picture a
> Playa Lake, north of Boise City.
>
> I checked the book by Ken Seyffert (2001) Birds of the Texas
> Panhandle, where he dedicates half a page to the subject of playas
> scattered across the Texas Panhandle. He also cites older publications
> such as Simpson & Bolen (1981) Wildlife Assessment of Playa Lakes., US
> Bureau of Reclamation SW region Amarillo, Texas. In an older book
> mentioning playa by Oberholser
> (1974) Bird Life of Texas, he shows a photo of Muleshoe National
> Wildlife Refuge with the opening of the caption reading:
> "Sink-type-Lake --- or Playa --- on Panhandle." I called Ken yesterday
> morning and asked him when the word playa was first mentioned in the
> Texas Panhandle literature. He was excited and thought that was a
> fabulous question. He stated that birders and others were using the
> word playa regularly when he first started bird watching at Amarillo
> in 1963. James Stevenson (1942) Birds of the Central Panhandle of
> Texas, Condor 44: 108-115; discusses the temporary lakes, but calls
> them "wet-weather" lakes. Arthur Hawkins (1945) Bird Life in the Texas
> Panhandle, The Panhandle-Plains Historical Review 18: 110-150; calls
> them playa lakes, and provides a nice brief discussion of bird groups
> to be expected at various water levels along with types of vegetation and the percent land coverage of the playas.
>
> The Texas Panhandle is often associated with southwestern offices of
> various government agencies and the word playa was probably used more
> frequently than those regional agencies Kansas was associated with.
> All but one university in Kansas are located far from the playa region in Kansas.
> Until you live in the middle of the playas of western Kansas, one does
> not appreciate the importance of them, especially to migrating birds.
> So the Kansas ornithology professors did not research or write
> anything about them. Dr Ely had students working on playa lakes, but
> that will have to be researched at another time as far as the use of
> the word playa in their theses. I have a copy of the thesis by Davis,
> but cannot find it. That compared to the universities and colleges
> situated in the middle of the playa zones of the Texas Panhandle.
> Texas Tech University has been a regional leader on the subject for a
> long time now. The highly visible PLJV, which started in 1988, has
> probably done more than any other factor in converting Kansas people and birders to using the word playa.
>
> For those in the need, you can find complete references on the ones I
> left very short, in: Thompson, Ely, Gress, Otte, Patti, Seibel, &
> Young (2011) Birds of Kansas, or in my book; Shane (2012) History of
> Ornithology - - - in Kansas
> <http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/zeabook/12/>
>
> So, Mr. Burkepile, please let us know what you find out from the
> old-timers up around Hoxie on what they call playa lakes, and thanks
> for bringing up the subject.
> Tom Shane
> Garden City
>
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