Wesley F. Kubichek, 85, an ornithologist and a wildlife photographer with the Interior Department's Fish and Wildlife Service for 30 years, died June 24 at a Daphne, Ala., nursing home. He had suffered from a heart ailment.
Mr. Kubichek helped conduct studies on ducks, whooping cranes. Columbia River salmon, and elk. During the summer months his work took him to game preserves across America, from the Columbia River valley in the Northwest and the duck country of South Dakota, to the Aransas Game Refuge in Austwell. Tex., where he surveyed the whooping crane.
Besides tabulating wildlife figures, he photographed the bird and animals, and studied the problems they faced. He once purchased wild rice seeds from Indians to plant as food for birds he thought might be driven off or starve.
During the late fall and winter months he collated film and notes at headquarters in Washington and planned the next year's studies.
A 1956 story in The Washington Post said that then secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay would not trust another living soul to count whooping cranes. He felt that Mr. Kubichek had standards few others could match.
Mr. Kubichek received the Interior Department's Distinguished Service Medal upon retiring in 1962.
A native of Iowa City, he earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Iowa and then taught zoology, ornithology and museum methods at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, before coming to Washington.
He served in the Army during World War I.
He is survived by his wife, Lucille, of the home in Fairhope, Ala., and two sisters, Rose Kubichek and Clara Kriz, both of Cedar Rapids