Nature Notes

Learn how plants and wildlife respond to seasonal changes throughout the year

‘Focus on the Byway’ photo contest begins

Wetlands and Wildlife National Scenic Byway

Anyone with a camera has a new opportunity to get the creative juices flowing and compete in a unique photography contest. It is called “Focus on the Byway” and is open to amateurs and professionals of all ages. The year-long contest begins immediately and provides several chances to win cash prizes each quarter of that year. Photographers are asked to focus their lenses on the Kansas Wetlands & Wildlife National Scenic Byway. The Byway corridor [...]

Another Snowy Owl!

Once again a snowy owl was spotted in Cheyenne Bottoms, this one was spotted on Feb. 17, 2014 in Pool 2. Local Photographer Jay Miller from Great Bend sent us these great photos of the owl. Thanks to him for letting us use these photos.

Snowy Owl!

Snowy Owl

A Snowy Owl was spotted in pool 4A on January 25, 2014. It was moving around the pool throughout the afternoon.

Mid-winter Waterfowl Surveys

Every year on the first full week of January, biologist across North America participate in Mid-winter Waterfowl Surveys (MWS). The objective of this survey is to determine the distribution and relative abundance of waterfowl wintering on the continent. The MWS has been been conducted since 1935 and is one of the oldest and largest nationally coordinated operational wildlife survey. Over the course of the survey over 250,000 ducks and 750,000 geese will be counted across Kansas. [...]

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 [...]

Boy Scout Service Project

Boy Scouts 157

We were fortunate to have Boy Scouts from Troop 157-Great Bend at the Center today for a service project day.  The group worked on clearing many honey locust tree saplings that popped up along the KWEC-George Stumps Nature Trail.  The boys cut the trees and treated the cuts with chemical so the invasive trees would not return next spring.  They troop also worked on seeding some annual ryegrass seed around the new KWEC picnic shelter.  [...]

Mad About Monarchs 2013

Over 150 people participated in the 2013 Mad About Monarchs event on Saturday, September 14. Young and old alike were on hand to try their luck at capturing Monarch butterflies for the purpose of tagging them for the Monarch Watch program. Typically, the Monarch migration peaks around the middle of September; however, Monarchs were scarce for the day, with only 5 Monarchs being captured. Nonetheless, participants also enjoyed catching many other butterflies, dragonflies, and toads, [...]

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.