"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Great Bend offers birding opportunities in several unique locations. Birders will delight in capturing birds in their natural habitats. These are just a few great locations, for a complete list, download the Birding brochure below. 

  • Arkansas River Nature Trail
  • Dominican Sisters Convent 
  • Heartland Farm

Kansas Wetlands Complex. Birders will find paradise in the wetlands of Central Kansas. Together, Cheyenne Bottoms, The Nature Conservancy Preserve at Cheyenne Bottoms, and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge provide 50,000 acres of wetland habitat critical to shorebirds, waterfowl, and several endangered species including bald eagles and whooping cranes.

  • Year Round. Residents such as, Great Blue Herons, American Bitterns, and more than 25 species of ducks and geese call the Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge home. It is not difficult to observe more than 60 species in a single day. 
  • Seasonal Migrations. The wetlands hosts the widest variety of birds than any other inland marsh in the United States. Cheyenne Bottoms alone attracts more than 45% of the shorebirds in North America during the spring migration. Fall migration brings in waterfowl by the masses, including ducks and geese. Other common species include sandpipers, snowy plovers, avocets, dowitchers, and killdeer.

  • Raptors. With the colder weather also comes birds of prey, most of them endangered. Birds like marsh hawks, barn owls, burrowing owls, golden eagles, and bald eagles seek refuge at the complex during the winter season. The most prominent viewing opportunities for Bald Eagles and other Raptors are from late November to early January.

  • Whooping Cranes. Our most famous guests come during spring and fall migrations. The Whooping Crane, often accompanied by the smaller gray sandhill cranes, migrate in flocks of 2 to 10. Whooping Cranes are about 5 feet tall, snow white with red and black heads, and black wing tips. 

To view the Birding Brochure for maps of hot spots, tips, and additional information, click 'view' under the link below. You can download the PDF document by clicking 'download', or email it by selecting email below.

A birding check list can also be downloaded,

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Great Bend is the prime location to get a great view at an array of birds.