Recent Bird Sightings–April 12

Despite many windy days, the past couple weeks have produced some excellent birding! Several “first of season birds” have been reported in the last couple weeks, including Eared Grebe, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Black-crowned Night Heron, White-faced Ibis, Piping Plover, Black-necked Stilt, Franklin’s Gull, Tree Swallow, and Barn Swallow.  Another highlight of this past weekend, were 10 Whooping cranes observed in Pool 1C the evening of April 8 and continued through the morning of April 9, [...]

Recent Bird Sightings-March 23

Early Spring migration continues. Several “first of season birds” have been reported in the last couple weeks, including Ruddy Duck, Double-crested Cormorant, American Golden Plover, American Avocet, Western Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper, Wilson’s Phalarope, and Yellow-headed Blackbird.  Sandhill cranes continue to move in the area, and 4 Whooping Cranes were observed at Quivira NWR during the evening of March 22 and through the morning of March 23.   Duck numbers and diversity remain excellent at Cheyenne [...]

Spring Break Activities at the KWEC

Spring Break Activities at Cheyenne Bottoms Looking for something fun to do this Spring Break?  Make a trip to Fort Hays State University’s Kansas Wetlands Education Center.  Spend an hour or half a day!  During Spring Break, the KWEC is planning some special, free programs and activities each day for visitors of all ages. The KWEC is located 10 miles northeast of Great Bend along K-156 Highway at Cheyenne Bottoms.  Hours for the KWEC over [...]

Recent Bird Sightings-Feb 19

Spring migration is upon us, and the mild winter and warm past week we’ve had, seem to have birds moving a little early this year. Sandhill cranes have been gracing the skies above us for a couple weeks now.  Duck numbers and diversity has been excellent at Cheyenne Bottoms.  And, we spotted our first shorebirds this past week.  All good signs of spring migration. Cheyenne Bottoms will be ready for birds as they stop in [...]

2015 Cheyenne Bottoms Christmas Bird Count Results

Fourteen observers conducted the Cheyenne Bottoms CBC on Monday, December 21st.  A chilly but clear and still day provided good birding conditions with even a few sprinkles in the afternoon.  Most of Cheyenne Bottoms’s pools and other still water was mostly thawed, providing good conditions for viewing waterfowl.  Goose numbers were very impressive throughout the area. The Cheyenne Bottoms Christmas Bird Count encompasses a 15-mile diameter count circle that includes Cheyenne Bottoms as well as other parts of Barton County, including parts [...]

Wetland Explorer: Powerhouse hunting

Intent on his prey, a black-tailed jack rabbit, the golden eagle glides over wheat stubble in pursuit. Golden eagle talons exert over 400 pounds per square inch of pressure, 15 times that of the human hand. The braided cord trailing from the eagle's legs are jesses, used by the falconer to hold the bird on his or her glove.

By Pam Martin, KDWPT educator The goal: find black-tailed jack rabbits to hunt, using not a bow or a rifle, but the eyes, talons and sheer power of a golden eagle. As soon as Chase Delles, Minnesota, removed Dexter’s hood, he straightened on Delles’ heavily gloved hand and began surveying the wheat stubble with piercing, amber-colored eyes. After eight years together, the two make a formidable team and both were ready to hunt. About 15 [...]

Recent Bird Sightings-Nov 20

This Fall has been a little strange and I think the bird migration has also been a little atypical.   In Fall migration form, weather has played the biggest driver of departures and arrivals from birds; however the timing has not produced large groupings of birds coming into the area at any one particular time.   Surprisingly, many shorebirds and wading birds are still present and can be easily observed on the many mudflats that are exposed in Pools [...]

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.