Nature Notes

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

Recent Bird Sightings-August 24

Fall migration is gearing up.  Cheyenne Bottoms typically would have many more shorebirds (sandpipers, plovers, etc.) right now, but there are few mud flat areas for them.  Quivira NWR has the mudflats and they have reported many shorebirds on the flats on the north part of the refuge.  Quivira staff and other birdwatchers have also enjoyed observing a Little Gull that has hung around there for several days.  There are some great birds to see at Cheyenne Bottoms and [...]

Recent Bird Sightings-June 7-13


Some would say that we are hitting the lull time of year for birds at Cheyenne Bottoms.  Typically, the months of June and part of July are not the best for bird watching, as most of the migrants are already through and we are left with resident birds and nesting birds.  However, there is still plenty of birds to spot while driving through Cheyenne Bottoms, especially herons, egrets, avocets, ibis, pelicans, killdeer, yellow-headed blackbirds, etc.  [...]

Recent Bird Sightings-May 23-24

Spring migration may be winding down; however there are still some great birds to be seen at Cheyenne Bottoms.  Some rains this weekend have been welcomed.  Wading birds (herons, egrets, avocets, and stilts) are the dominant birds with shorebirds and waterfowl numbers still good but decreasing and less diversity than a few weeks ago.  Water levels are still optimal for most wading and shorebirds.  Here is a list of bird species that have been reported this weekend: Canada Goose–quite a few [...]

Recent Bird Sightings–May 5-13

Spring migration is ongoing.  Shorebirds and wading birds are the dominant birds with waterfowl numbers still good but decreasing and less diversity than a few weeks ago.  Water levels are still optimal for most wading and shorebirds.  The best habitat for shorebirds at Cheyenne Bottoms is in Pools 3b, 2, and 5, where water levels have been drawn down and mudflats are prevalent.    Depending on wind, the inlet canal has been holding a lot of birds on some days [...]

‘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. [...]