Bird Watch

Reporting the latest bird observations from Cheyenne Bottoms


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 […]

Tricolored Heron

Tricolored Heron

The Tricolored Heron is a coastal resident and every once in awhile an individual is found inland. Today a visitor reported a Tricolored Heron at Cheyenne Bottoms amongst the usual assortment of herons, egrets, and gulls scavenging on fish. This afternoon, the heron was still present in the corner of Pool 1C, by the outhouse. While the lighting was less than ideal, I captured a photo that provides a good visual comparison. On the far […]

New Arrivals

While Whooping Cranes have been getting a lot of attention recently, many new arrivals have been observed at Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira in the past few days. On March 30, Marbled Godwits, Black-necked Stilts, Pectoral Sandpipers and a Black-crowned Night-heron were sighted. Yesterday, both wetlands had reports of Franklin’s Gulls. These amazing gulls over-winter along the coast of Chile and Peru and undergo two complete molts to keep their feathers in top shape for long-distance […]

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 […]