Bird Watch

Reporting the latest bird observations from Cheyenne Bottoms

Whoopers make appearance for crane tour

Participants on last year's crane tour watch about 2,000 sandhill cranes from The Nature Conservancy observation tower.

Participants who attended KWEC’s crane tours on Oct. 27 and 29 viewed several species of ducks and geese, sandhill and whooping cranes and shorebirds. Highlights included sighting three whooping cranes in flight. As the Tuesday evening tour began, the two adult and one juvenile whooping cranes flew by the Center on the west side of Highway 156, providing a great view of the birds in flight. They continued south, circled then headed south. There was [...]

Tricolored Heron

Tricolored heron at Cheyenne Bottoms August 17, 2013

Visitors reported a Tricolored heron at Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area today (August 17).  KWEC staff were able to photograph the bird. The heron was located in Pool 4a near the North Hub, which is near the location of the vault toilet at the center of the Wildlife Area.

Lend the Birds a Hand


Get you chance to ask questions about grassland bird populations at Cheyenne Bottoms!

Sandpiper chicks visit garden

chick web (1)

A spotted sandpiper and three newly hatched chicks were spotted in the KWEC garden on Tuesday, July25. Classified as a very rare summer resident of Cheyenne Bottoms, spotted sandpipers have been observed nesting at KWEC twice since the center opened in 2009. Chicks display the characteristic tail bob spotted sandpipers are known for shortly after hatching. Precocial, they are born fully feathered and leave the nest scrape soon after hatching. The male and female sandpipers [...]

Spring Migrant Spotlight – Wilson’s Phalarope

A few Wilson’s Phalaropes have been spotted at Cheyenne Bottoms and they are right on schedule.  These shorebirds usually show up around April 12th during their  spring migration from their wintering range in the southern areas of South America.  As many as 87,000 have been estimated at one time in the Cheyenne Bottoms wetlands. The Wilson’s Pharalope breeds in the northern Midwest states.  Its breeding habitat has been reduced by up to 50% in some [...]

Spring Migrant Spotlight – Long-billed Dowitcher


Welcome to the first webpost of a new series from the Kansas Wetlands Education Center.  The Spring Migrant Spotlight will provide interesting information about species arriving to Cheyenne Bottoms during spring migration.  Visit the Bottoms to see these birds for yourself! The Long-billed Dowitcher spends its winters in the southern United States and Central America.  As temperatures rise and days get longer in the late winter months, these shorebirds head north.  Long-billed Dowitchers arrive at [...]

Hit the road, but not the birds

With the snow finally starting to melt, many of us are hitting the roads to break the cabin fever. However, we are not the only ones who notice the open highways these days, as many small songbirds are flocking by the hundreds to these open areas. Because of the heavy snows recently, much of the plant community is unavailable to be used as food for the songbirds. And with the only open patches now being the [...]

Hungry birds at KWEC


After last night’s snow, there has been a spike in bird activity around our feeders here at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center. Birds require lots of food to maintain their high metabolism and to keep their body temperature up. In the winter (especially after a snow), food such as seeds and insects are not easy to come by, which leads the birds to feeders. Our hungry visitors include red-winged blackbirds, American goldfinches, Harris’s sparrows, and [...]