Quivira received some much-needed moisture in the form of 12 inches of snow in a February 2013 storm. Snow began falling before dawn on February 20, and continued to fall until almost dusk on the 21st. The storm was accompanied by quite a bit of wind, so drifting was occurring most of the duration of the snowfall.
Over the last several years, Quivira had only received snow amounts of 4 or 5 inches or less, with the last significant snowfall being 13 inches received in late January, 2010.
Snow on cedars along the Migrant's Mile Trail
In addition to the snow, temperatures fell to near single-digits on the 21st, freezing the water in both Little and Big Salt Marsh.
The Observation Tower at Little Salt Marsh
Amazingly, this storm was on the heels of quite mild weather, with highs near 70 degrees on Sunday, 17 February! Most waterfowl and sandhill cranes that had been present at that time headed south with the storm.
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The tallest North American bird, and one of the rarest: now numbering about 600 in the world, there were once as few as 16.