Bird Watch

Reporting the latest bird observations from 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 [...]

Cheyenne Bottoms Christmas Bird Count

Participants scan for birds

Thirteen observers conducted the Cheyenne Bottoms CBC on Tuesday December 18th.  The lack of significant water and poor grassland conditions made for a challenging day for birding.  However, the weather conditions were nearly ideal for December. We tallied 76 species and a total of 118,527 individuals with the following notes of interest:   a Brown Thrasher, two Double-crested Cormorants, 135 Northern Harriers, 34 Rough-legged Hawks and three Townsend’s Solitaires which was a new Barton County bird [...]

Quivira NWR Bus Tours–Oct. 13

USFWS logo

For those who want to see the sandhill crane soar, hear the quacking of ducks and geese, and have help identifying the falcon, or a pheasant, Quivira National Wildlife Refuge is offering free bus tours and lunch with the guidance of experts. The Quivira staff and Friends of Quivira would like to help those who have visited and want to know more.  They are offering free guided bus tours of Quivira on Saturday, Oct. 13.  [...]

Red-necked Stint

To some folks, counting peeps is just like counting sheep. The drab little birds all look the same and may put you to sleep soon enough. With time and patience you might one day realize that one of these birds is not like the other, the black sheep so to speak; although, the contrast might not be as obvious. But the reward is great for those who seek the hidden treasures of Quivira, in spite [...]