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U.S.A. -- KANSAS
Big Day (Bird Race)
10 May 2000
by Chris Hobbs
Big Day Statistics:
- 210 species
- 518 miles by car, 3 by foot; 0030 to 2330 hours
- Visiting: Fort Leavenworth, Wilson
Reservoir, Cheyenne Bottoms State Wildlife Area, Quivira National
- Species of
Note: Clark’s Grebe (Rare), Tricolored Heron (Rare),
Red-breasted Merganser (Late), Blue-winged Warbler (Rare).
When thinking of interior Big Days of over 200 species, 'plateaus'
tend to come in increments of 5 species. Such was the case with
the 2000 Kansas Big Day, which finally pushed the record another notch,
to 210. Since our efforts during the previous two years hit a
ceiling of 205 and 206, we really needed the enthusiasm boost of
hitting that new plateau!
After recording several species like Henslow's Sparrow and various
Catharus thrushes by nocturnal vocalizations, daybreak found us in
extreme eastern Kansas on the banks of the Missouri River at Fort
Leavenworth. Our morning total of 130 species included
Red-shouldered Hawk, Pileated Woodpecker, and 26 species of
warblers. A couple of quick stops along I-70 en route to central
Kansas produced Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Rock and Bewick's Wrens,
Harris's Sparrow, and Painted Bunting. Between 4:00 pm and
nightfall, we added another 66 species at Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira
NWR in central Kansas. At the Bottoms, we found Western and
Clark's Grebes, a few lingering migrant ducks, and good concentrations
of shorebirds, including Whimbrel. Quivira furnished a Tricolored
Heron, Black Rails, and a Laughing Gull.
What's a Big Day without its share of heart breaking misses?!
Green Heron, Greater Yellowlegs, and Black-billed Cuckoo are veterans
of the 'Missed List', but Greater Prairie Chicken, Sedge Wren, and
Cedar Waxwing were uncharacteristically elusive.
The goal continues to be 215 species - yet another incremental plateau
that could be achieved with the right combination of timing, weather,
and luck! In the meantime, we are pleased with an important
by-product of our insanity - helping to raise funds to benefit the
ongoing bird research in South America by the Ornithology Division at
the University of Kansas. Generous donations by the Burroughs
Audubon Society of Kansas City, and many private contributors, has
helped fund this important work, and for that we are very grateful!
Clark’s Grebe (R)
Am White Pelican
Great Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron (R)
Gr. White-fr. Goose
Red-breasted Merg. (L)
Laughing Gull (R)
East Screech Owl
Great Horned Owl
East Wood Pewee
Great Crest Flycather
No Rough-wing Swallow
Blue-winged Warbler (R)
Black and White