2013 Cheyenne Bottoms Christmas Bird Count

Twenty-one observers conducted the Cheyenne Bottoms CBC on Saturday December 14th.  A cold, cloudy, windy morning made early birding a little challenging, but the sun coming out by mid-morning warmed the area and made birds quite active.  Most of Cheyenne Bottoms was frozen solid, so waterfowl, besides geese were hard to find; however, sandpits and city ponds were common hangouts.  The Cheyenne Bottoms Christmas Bird Count encompasses a 15-mile diameter count circle that includes Cheyenne Bottoms as well as other parts of Barton County.  Participants were divided into small groups and assigned a certain section of the count circle to identify and count as many birds as could be found.
We tallied 80 species and a total of 263,076 individuals with the following notes of interest:   over 28,000 geese, 12 duck species, 27 bald eagles, 107 Northern Harriers, 84 Red-tailed Hawks, 5 Ferruginous Hawks, 15 Rough-legged Hawks, 5 White-winged Doves, 11 Short-eared Owls, 23 Red-bellied Woodpeckers, 21 White-breasted Nuthatches, 1 Winter Wren, 3 Townsends Solitaires, and over 200,000 Red-winged Blackbirds.  A complete list follows:
A free lunch was provided by The Nature Conservancy and Kansas Wetlands Education Center for all the participants of the Christmas Bird Count.

Dec 14, 2012
Cheyenne Bottoms Christmas Bird Count 
80 species

 Greater White-fronted Goose  1,697
Snow Goose  10,938
Ross’s Goose  200
Cackling Goose  8,323
Canada Goose  7,084
Wood Duck  23    
Gadwall 15
American Wigeon 5
Mallard  3,349
Northern Pintail  27
Green-winged Teal  23
Redhead  27
Ring-necked Duck  32
Lesser Scaup  6
Common Goldeneye  35
Common Merganser 18
Ruddy Duck  2
Northern Bobwhite  6
Ring-necked Pheasant  8
Wild Turkey  133
Great Blue Heron  5
Northern Harrier  107   
Sharp-shinned Hawk  2
Cooper’s Hawk  1
Bald Eagle  27
Red-tailed Hawk  84 
Ferruginous Hawk 5
Rough-legged Hawk  15 
Ring-billed Gull  1
Rock Pigeon  119
Eurasian Collared-Dove  119
Mourning Dove 4
Barn Owl  4
Eastern Screech-Owl  3
Great Horned Owl  4
Short-eared Owl  11
Red-bellied Woodpecker  23
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  2
Downy Woodpecker  19
Hairy Woodpecker  6
Northern Flicker  36
American Kestrel  10
Prairie Falcon  3
Loggerhead Shrike  2
Blue Jay  4
American Crow  7
Horned Lark  40
Black-capped Chickadee  4
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
White-breasted Nuthatch  21    
Brown Creeper  6
Winter Wren  1
Carolina Wren  1
Golden-crowned Kinglet  2
Eastern Bluebird  38
Townsend’s Solitaire  3
American Robin  39
Northern Mockingbird 2
European Starling  10,114
Lapland Longspur  2,056
Orange-crowned Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler  3
American Tree Sparrow  208
Fox Sparrow  2
Song Sparrow  6
Harris’s Sparrow  112
White-crowned Sparrow  1
Dark-eyed Junco  194
Northern Cardinal  23
Red-winged Blackbird  216,922
Meadowlark sp.  247
Common Grackle 1
Great-tailed Grackle 74
House Finch  105
American Goldfinch  44
House Sparrow  192

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About Curtis Wolf

Curtis Wolf is the site manager at Ft. Hays State University's Kansas Wetlands Education Center (KWEC) at Cheyenne Bottoms. Curtis received a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology and a Master of Science degree in Biology at FHSU, studying freshwater mussels. Before taking the job at the KWEC, Curtis was a biology instructor at Barton County Community College in Great Bend.

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