Recent Bird Sightings-February 1

Winter birding at Cheyenne Bottoms is very dependent on the amount of open water.  After being frozen for most of January, much of the wetland pools in Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area have thawed, and waterfowl are returning in good numbers.

Common birds to see right now include: Various raptors (Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, Red-tailed Hawks), all geese species, many ducks, mergansers, Great Blue Herons, gulls, pelicans, black-birds, and a few sparrows.

Water levels at Cheyenne Bottoms remain fair, with water in most pools.  As of February 1, pool depths were as follows:  Pool 1a=27″, Pools 1b and 1c=26″, Pool 2=20″, Pool 3a=12″, Pool 3b=14″, Pools 4a and 4b =16″, and Pool 5=dry.  KDWPT staff have drained Pool 5 in order to complete a burn and vegetation control this Winter.  Pool depths and water fowl reports are updated weekly and can be followed on the KDWPT website at:   http://ksoutdoors.com/KDWPT-Info/Locations/Wildlife-Areas/Southwest/Cheyenne-Bottoms  .

Waterfowl reports are changing almost daily, but as of Feb. 1, KDWPT staff were reporting 5,000-10,000 ducks with mostly Mallards and Common Merganserss, but increasing diversity of other species.  They also report 15,000-50,000 Geese with mostly Snows, but dark geese present as well.

Give us your reports.  We rely heavily on other birders to know what is being seen at Cheyenne Bottoms.  Submit reports to Ebird, or email your observations to wetlandscenter@fhsu.edu.

Here is a list birds that have been reported over the last couple weeks:

  • Greater White-fronted Goose
  • Snow Goose–large flocks of geese can be seen in Pool 1a every afternoon
  • Cackling Goose
  • Canada Goose
  • Gadwall
  • American Wigeon
  • Mallard–most numerous duck right now
  • Northern Pintail–increasing number of pintails
  • Redhead
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Lesser Scaup
  • Bufflehead
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Hooded Merganser
  • Common Merganser
  • Ring-necked Pheasant
  • Wild Turkey
  • American White Pelican–several hundred have shown up in the last week
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Bald Eagle
  • Northern Harrier–quite numerous area-wide
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Rough-legged Hawk
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Herring Gull
  • Glaucous Gull
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull
  • Mourning Dove
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Snowy Owl–possibly one observed on 2/1 along interior dike road just south of Redwing dike Y.
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • American Kestrel
  • Merlin
  • Prairie Falcon
  • Loggerhead Shrike
  • Horned Lark
  • American Robin
  • Lapland Longspur
  • European Starling
  • American Tree Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow
  • Harris’s Sparrow
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Meadowlark species
  • Common Grackle
  • Great-tailed Grackle
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • American Goldfinch
  • House Sparrow

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