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A large privately-owned marsh in the Slate Creek Valley. Private marshes help attract migrating birds to the area, including the public marshes.
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Michael Pearce / The Wichita Eagle
A scissor-tailed flycatcher near a Slate Creek marsh.
Tracks show where shorebirds walked across the mud flats at the Slate Creek Wetlands.
A red-eared slider in a shallow marsh.
A duck blind on a private part of the Slate Creek Wetlands, where waterfowl hunters have gathered for decades.
Gene Young checks the far edge of a marsh in the Slate Creek Wetlands, looking for shorebirds.
A drake blue-winged teal.
Gene Young looks at saltwater sink holes in the Slate Creek Wetlands area.
Slate Creek feeds the wetlands, as does water sometimes backing up from the nearby Arkansas River.
Teal rest on a marsh on the Slate Creek Wetlands.
Gene Young, spends many days a year researching birds in the Slate Creek Valley.
The Slate Creek Wetlands host thousands of shorebirds in the spring and fall.
Gene Young points to distant wetlands in the public part of the Slate Creek Wetlands.
Gene Young looks for shorebirds and other wildlife from a viewing tower at the Slate Creek Wetlands.
Yearling pelicans rest in the shallows of a marsh in the Slate Creek Valley.
A drake, right, and hen blue-winged teal, one of many species of ducks to nest on Slate Creek marshes.
Gene Young walks on to the Slate Creek Wetlands.
Left is a sign showing the boundary of the Slate Creek Wetlands. Visitors must register as they come and go at registration kiosks, right.
A pair of blue-winged teal feed in a Slate Creek marsh.
One of many marshes on the Slate Creek Wetlands.
Bobwhite quail are one of many upland species that thrive at the Slate Creek Wetlands.
Gene Young checks the seeds on a plant that could provide food for wildlife at the Slate Creek Wetlands.
Related story: Sumner County’s vast valley