Bird Watch

Reporting the latest bird observations from Cheyenne Bottoms

Whooper Watch

Whooping Crane viewing season is upon us! Check for recent sightings of Whooping Cranes in the area at the KWEC Whooper Watch Page.

Summer Birding at Cheyenne Bottoms

Summer is definitely here, and with it, brings a whole new season of birding at Cheyenne Bottoms.  The “dog days” of Summer do not provide an abundance of bird sightings; however, birders can still find some excellent sightings if they pay attention to the weather and time of day.   During the Summer months, Cheyenne Bottoms is dominated by wading birds (herons, egrets, ibis, avocets, and stilts) as well as pelicans, cormorants, and a few ducks.  Grassland nesting […]

Mergansers and Other Sightings

Myself and one of our graduate students did a little birding while we were working on some water sampling in Cheyenne Bottoms. Pretty active day with a significant increase in open water this afternoon. In Pool 1 we saw 10 adult bald eagles and 2 juveniles, 50 or so ring-billed gulls with what appeared to be 2 herring gulls amidst them. Saw 75 or so geese, mostly cackling, 20 pintails, and 100’s of mallards, gadwall […]

Plovers

Yesterday, Mike Rader posted an excellent report on the bird activity at Cheyenne Bottoms. Most notably, he observed a mixed flock of small plovers, including the endangered Piping Plover. Mike wrote, “The Piping Plovers were in one loose group along the east side of Pool 1A, along with a dozen or so Snowy Plovers and 28 Semipalmated Plovers.” Plovers are a group of small to medium-sized shorebirds with short, pointed bills. The Charadrius plovers include the […]

Celebrating Birds!

Making bird houses with gourds

If you build it they will come—birds that is. Dried-out gourds were repurposed into colorful birdhouses at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center this morning.  The children who participated in the program learned about winter birds, played games, and hiked the nature trail. Together we identified different types of birds, including numerous Red-winged Blackbirds gathered around the feeders and high soaring Red-tailed Hawks. In one of the nest boxes we discovered a small, speckled eggshell that belonged to a  House Wren. Perhaps, […]

Snowy Plover Crossing

Snowy Plover

Why did the Snowy Plover cross the road? To find a place to hide. At Cheyenne Bottoms a few family groups have been seen foraging along the gravel roadways, especially near the outhouse. Adults can fly to safety; however, downy chicks must run for dear life. While slowly passing the Snowy Plovers, I saw two unfortunate chicks that had not made it to the other side. So, please remember to drive with care. In Kansas, […]

Great Backyard Bird Count

dark-eyed junco

Birds are everywhere in our lives. Can you think of a day that went by without seeing or hearing a bird? If you are the type of person who enjoys watching birds through a window or in a nearby park, you might be interested in participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count. The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is a free, fun event held in February each year. Like a photograph, the count provides a […]

Two Snowy Owls at the Bottoms

Many thanks to Dan Witt for keeping us updated on the Snowy Owl at Cheyenne Bottoms. And more good news today, Dr. Witt reports, “I checked on the owl this morning. At 10:30 she was on another bunker– too far out for a decent photograph. About 150 yards past her perch, another owl lifted off from the refuge side of the road and went to the next bunker past the original owl. We now have […]