Overview

This tour is offered in partnership with Ventures Birding Tours.

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!

Available spaces may be different to those advertised on our website.

2023 Tour price is an estimate and will change. Tour dates could be adjusted.

Tour Facts Top Birds
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
Top Mammals
American Bison; Pronghorn
Habitats Covered
tallgrass prairie, pine forest, lake, wetland, wetland prairie, marshes, open water, shrubby and secondary growth, mature woodlands, inland salt marsh, sand prairie
Expected Climate
dry with little rain. Temperatures are mostly cool, ranging from from up to 42°F (6°C) to 55°F (13°C)
Max Group Size
8 with 1 Ventures Leader
Tour Pace & Walking
relaxed
Accommodation
comfortable
Ease of Birding
mostly easy
Photographic Opportunities
good to excellent
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

Stephan was an excellent guide and made sure everyone was able to see the birds and many times obtain photos. He was patient with the requests of the group members and facilitated an enjoyable experience for all. Claudia was a great addition to the team and we really appreciated her help finding birds in the scopes, identifying birds in the van, and working with Stephan to make sure our trip was as seamless as possible.

By selecting the northern part of the NP, we avoided most of the huge traffic jams and could focus on the wildlife; also well-planned were the days outside of the NP. Forrest Rowland is extraordinary: total mastery of the area from the daily routes to the trails and what is where when, to substantive knowledge about the ecology, public policies governing land and water use, all of which is seamlessly integrated throughout the course of the day and week. He's able to handle difficult situations, such as the approach of a bear, to tour members who could be distracting. Days were planned, integrating sufficient down time, and flexible to utilize unique opportunities that arose with the appearance of target species. Each day proved enjoyable, filled with cumulative knowledge gained through good views of species and time to absorb the environmental context.

Overall it was a great trip. Stephan made sure everyone got good looks at all the found birds. Highly recommend it.

This being my first Rockjumper tour, it far surpassed my expectations. Stephan was a fantastic guide, attentive to the entire group and making sure everyone had a good look at the bird in front of us (sometimes, several birds!) The depth of his knowledge along with his raport and friendly/kind demeanor made him feel more like a good friend on a bird walk - with tons of knowledge and ability on top of a love for birds. Thanks Stephan/Claudia and Rockjumper for providing an amazing experience!

I just wanted you to know that the trip to Texas with Stefan and Claudia went fantastic. The birding was unbelievable and the logistics to pull that all off in such a large state as Texas were near flawless. Stefan is an amazing birder and his persistence and patience made certain everyone got on the birds; the views were amazing. Claudia was a great help for him and was fantastic at quickly getting the scope on the birds as well. It was all wonderful Rockjumper birding until you drop at its finest! On side notes, the food was great.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2023 DEPARTURES
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