For most, Kansas evokes images of sprawling wheat fields, tornadoes, The Wizard of Oz…and little else! But if you look beyond the stereotype, you may be surprised to discover that ‘The Sunflower State’ is a place of breathtaking beauty, spectacular sunrises and sunsets, and exceptional birding. Situated on the Central Flyway, Kansas’s collection of prairies, wetlands, and woodlands provide vital habitat for an astounding number of migratory birds every spring and fall. Two of the world’s most important waterfowl and shorebird stopover sites (Quivira NWR & Cheyenne Bottoms) are here, and its Midwest geography means that the 460 species recorded within the state are represented by a nice mix of both eastern and western birds.
November is a great time to visit with huge numbers of geese, ducks, and other waterbirds like Sandhill Crane, Franklin’s Gull, and American White Pelican congregating at various wetland refuges and lakes across the state. In some years, the sheer number of birds at these stopover sites can be mindboggling, with some single day estimates for species such as Snow & Greater White-fronted Geese reaching upwards of several hundred thousand! Our tour is timed to give participants a good chance at witnessing some of these huge numbers of birds at the refuges before it gets too cold, in addition to a number of species of interest such as Long-eared & Short-eared Owls, LeConte’s Sparrow, Whooping Crane, Prairie Falcon, Ferruginous Hawk, and Greater Prairie-Chicken plus more common beauties like Mountain Bluebird and Harris’s Sparrow. We will even have a chance to see both American Bison and Pronghorn on this trip!
This tour is offered in partnership with Ventures Birding Tours, and will almost certainly have participants from both Rockjumper and Ventures Birding.
Available spaces may be differ to those advertised on our website.
Snow, Ross’s, Greater White-fronted & Cackling Geese; numerous duck species including Common Merganser, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon and Common Goldeneye; Northern Bobwhite; Scaled Quail; Ring-necked Pheasant; Greater Prairie Chicken; Eared & Western Grebes; White-winged Dove; Greater Roadrunner; Sandhill & Whooping Cranes; American Avocet; Stilt Sandpiper; Baird’s Sandpiper; Long-billed Dowitcher; Bonaparte’s & Franklin’s Gulls; Pacific & Common Loons; American White Pelican; American Bittern; White-faced Ibis; Golden & Bald Eagles; Rough-legged & Ferruginous Hawks; American Barn, Long-eared & Short-eared Owls; Prairie Falcon; Loggerhead & Northern Shrikes; Black-billed Magpie; Horned Lark; Rock & Bewick’s Wrens; Mountain Bluebird; Townsend’s Solitaire; American & Sprague’s Pipits; Purple Finch; Lapland, Chestnut-collared, and Smith’s Longspurs; Snow Bunting; American Tree, Fox, Harris’s, White-crowned, Vesper, LeConte’s & Lincoln’s Sparrows; Spotted & Eastern Towhees; Yellow-headed Blackbird; Eastern & Western Meadowlarks; Yellow-headed, Rusty & Brewer’s Blackbirds; Great-tailed Grackle
American Bison; Pronghorn
tallgrass prairie, pine forest, lake, wetland, wetland prairie, marshes, open water, shrubby and secondary growth, mature woodlands, inland salt marsh, sand prairie
dry with little rain. Temperatures are mostly cool, ranging from from up to 42°F (6°C) to 55°F (13°C)
8 with 1 Ventures Leader
good to excellent
Guides were very safety conscious. They took care of their clients.
I would just like to say how much I enjoyed both the tours - I saw lots of new birds, and our guide Stephan Lorenz was fantastic - extremely knowledgeable, and very patient, and made sure we all saw the birds. His wife Claudia was also extremely helpful in so many ways. I certainly hope I will do another tour with them in the not too distant future. The groups on both tours were friendly and easy to get on with. It was cold in Colorado, but it is a beautiful part of the world!
An excellent tour, and Stephan and Claudia were both very knowledgeable guides. I was also very grateful to them for so conscientiously researching the options for the Covid test I needed to travel back to the UK (following the UK Government’s announcement after I had already left for the tour) and ensuring I got the test. All in all a very enjoyable experience and with lots of good birds!
Adam Walleyn was an excellent guide. Very knowledgeable, helpful and he worked very hard to find the birds and take care of the many logistical matters. I would gladly tour with him again.
Stephan Lorenz is a fantastic leader. This is my second trip with him and the reason I booked this trip. His attention to details and relentless searching for sought after birds makes any trip with him well worth the time. He and his wife, Claudia work well together as a dynamic team solving any problem that arise. We missed our connections and were late for the first day and efforts were made and resolved for us to join the group quickly. Despite the stormy weather we were able to see the target birds. This trip was selected because of the shorter amount of days making it easier to fit into our schedule. During this pandemic we felt safe traveling with this group and with the conditions of lodging and take out meal dining. I look forward to my next trip with Stephan.
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