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Big Day (Bird Race)

10 May 2000

by Chris Hobbs

Big Day Statistics:


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!

Species List:

Pied-billed Grebe
Horned Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Clark’s Grebe (R)
Am White Pelican
D-c Cormorant
Am Bittern
Least Bittern
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Little Blue Heron
Tricolored Heron (R)
Cattle Egret
Black-cr Night-Heron
Yellow-cr Night-Heron
White-faced Ibis
Turkey Vulture
Gr. White-fr. Goose
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Am Wigeon
Blue-winged Teal
Cinnamon Teal
No. Shoveler
No. Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Red-breasted Merg. (L)
Ruddy Duck
Mississippi Kite
Bald Eagle
No. Harrier
Cooper’s Hawk
Red-should Hawk
Swainson’s Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Am Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Ring-necked Pheasant
Wild Turkey
No Bobwhite
Black Rail
King Rail
Virginia Rail
Common Moorhen
Am Coot
Bl-bellied Plover
Snowy Plover
Semipalm Plover
Black-necked Stilt
Am Avocet
Lesser Yellowlegs
Solitary Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
Upland Sandpiper
Hudsonian Godwit
Semipal Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
White-rump Sandpiper
Baird’s Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper
Stilt Sandpiper
Buff-breasted Sandpiper
Long-bill Dowitcher
Common Snipe
Wilson’s Phalarope
Laughing Gull (R)
Franklin’s Gull
Ring-billed Gull
Caspian Tern
Forster’s Tern
Black Tern
Rock Dove
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Barn Owl
East Screech Owl
Great Horned Owl
Burrowing Owl
Barred Owl
Com Nighthawk
Chimney Swift
Ruby-thr Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpe
Red-bellied Woodpe
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
East Wood Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Alder Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crest Flycather
Western Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird
Scissor-tail Flycather
Loggerhead Shrike
White-eyed Vireo
Bell’s Vireo
Yellow-thr Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
Am Crow
Horned Lark
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
No Rough-wing Swallow
Bank Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Bl-capped Chickade
Tufted Titmouse
White-br Nuthatch
Rock Wren
Carolina Wren
Bewick’s Wren
House Wren
Ruby-cr Kinglet
Blue-gray Gnatcather
Eastern Bluebird
Gray-cheek Thrush
Swainson’s Thrush
Wood Thrush
Am Robin
Gray Catbird
No Mockingbird
Brown Thrasher
Eur Starling
Am. Pipit
Blue-winged Warbler (R)
Golden-wing Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Orange-cr Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Yellow-rump Warbler
Bl-throated Green
Yell.-thr. Warbler
Palm Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black and White
Am Redstart
Prothonotary Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
Louisiana Waterthrush
Kentucky Warbler
Mourning Warbler
C Yellowthroat
Wilson’s Warbler
Canada Warbler
Yel-br. Chat
Summer Tanager
Scarlet Tanager
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Clay-colored Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Grasshopper Sparro
Henslow’s Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
Harris’s Sparrow
Wh-crowned Sparrow
No Cardinal
Rose-breast Grosbeak
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Painted Bunting
Red-winged Blackbd
East Meadowlark
West Meadowlark
Yellow-head Black
Common Grackle
Great-tailed Grackle
Brown-head Cowbrd
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
House Finch
Pine Siskin
Am Goldfinch
House Sparrow

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