Recent Bird Sightings–February 23

Early Spring migration continues.  Waterfowl dominate the Cheyenne Bottoms scene with impressive numbers and diversity.

Some very large groups of Light Geese are still being seen in the area.  Late afternoons, it is impressive to see large groups lift off the Pool 1 complex to feed in surrounding crop fields.  Greater white-fronted, Canada, and Cackling geese are also able to be seen regularly.

Duck numbers and diversity are impressive especially in Pools 4A and 4B.  Predominant species are Pintails, Mallards, Gadwall, Wigeon, and Redheads, but other species are plentiful too.

There are good numbers of Gulls in the area, with mostly Ring-billed Gulls.

Groups of Sandhill Cranes have been observed flying over in the last few weeks.  We suspect some groups are roosting/feeding in the Cheyenne Bottoms area, but we have not confirmed this.  The place to be to see Sandhills in the morning and evening is Quivira NWR right now with several thousand west of the Wildlife Loop most days.

Quite a few Great Blue Herons are at Cheyenne Bottoms, especially around the Inlet Canal.

American White Pelican numbers have increased, with several hundred being seen most days in Pool 1B, 1C, or Pool 5.

Duck and Goose hunting season is now closed statewide, but the Conservation Order hunting season for light geese has begun and goes through the month of April.

Water levels remain good area wide at Cheyenne Bottoms. Pools 2, 3a, 4a, and 4b range from 15-20″ depth.  KDWPT staff are pumping excess water from Pools 3 and 4 into the Pool 1 storage pools most days.  Water levels and waterfowl reports are updated weekly on the KDWPT website:

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

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

  • Greater White-fronted Goose
  • Snow Goose-Large flocks of several thousand seen flying or on the water in Pool 1
  • Ross’s Goose-mixed in with Snows
  • Canada Goose
  • Cackling Goose
  • Gadwall
  • American wigeon
  • Mallard
  • Blue-winged Teal–one reported FOS on 2/21
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Northern Pintail
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Canvasback
  • Redhead
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Lesser Scaup
  • Bufflehead
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Ring-necked Pheasant
  • Wild Turkey–large flock just east of Cheyenne Bottoms along NE 100Ave most days
  • Mourning Dove
  • American Coot–several 100 in Pool 4b
  • Sandhill Crane
  • Killdeer–numerous birds being observed this week
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Herring Gull
  • American White Pelican
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Bald Eagle
  • Northern Harrier
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Barn Owl
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • American Kestrel
  • Horned Lark
  • Marsh Wren
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • American Robin
  • American Goldfinch
  • American Tree Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow
  • Harris’s Sparrow
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Meadowlark Sp.
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Great-tailed Grackle
  • Brown-headed Cowbird

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