Dynamic (Baker's) Dozen
All the wildlife viewing sites in the Natural Kansas web site are special! However, these top thirteen sites were selected to direct you to "can't miss" opportunities. They are distinguished because of their exceptional wildlife, scenic, and viewing attributes. No matter where you are in Kansas, you are within relatively easy driving distance of at least one of these notable areas.
Dynamic Dozen Wildlife Index - Where to Go to See Popular Species
If your time or interests are limited, this index provides a quick way to find your favorites. Follow the PEQ rule for best results.
1. Deer - Deer can be seen at nearly every wild area site included. Many country roads along streams will offer glimpses of deer during dawn and dusk hours all during the year. Look near the edges of fields close to trees.
2. Bison (buffalo)
3. Wapiti (elk) -
4. Pronghorns (antelope) -
5. Coyotes - These predators are listed in nearly half the sites but watch for them anywhere in the state. Predator calls are very effective for bringing coyotes in close.
6. Eagles -
7. Prairie chickens -
Kansas has good populations of both the lesser and greater prairie chicken. These members of the grouse family are most noted for their fascinating lek behavior during the spring breeding season. Males will gather on a prominent hilltop and go through elaborate displays to attract females. The displays involve claiming of territory within the lek and defending it against other males through ritualistic dances, posturing, "booming" vocalizations made with large inflatable cheek pouches and, on occasion, fighting off their rivals. Females come to the lek to choose a mate from the assembled males. The leks may be active between mid-March and early May, depending on where you are.
- Greater prairie chicken:
- Lesser prairie chicken:
Between March 16 and April 21, a Greater Prairie Chicken viewing blind may be reserved at Bob & Margaret Massey's property, located near Dexter in south central Kansas. Call 620-876-5700 for information. Lesser Prairie Chicken viewing blinds are available in the Cimarron National Grasslands.
8. Wild turkeys - Thirty-four sites mention wild turkeys. Best opportunities are in early April while toms are gobbling and displaying. As with deer viewing, best sites are the many wildlife areas and managed lands around the lakes and reservoirs. The Flint Hills Wildlife Drive and the Gypsum Hills Wildlife Drive should be rewarding during twilight and morning hours.
9. Canada Geese - Twenty-nine sites list Canada geese among many other water birds. Sure bets for seeing wintering Canada geese are the several large reservoirs, many of the listed parks, and these special areas:
10. Shorebirds - There are twenty-four sites in Natural Kansas that list shorebirds, but two are absolutely "can't miss" during migrations: Quivira National Wildlife Refuge and Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area, both in the South Central part of the state. Many of the larger reservoirs also have excellent shorebird opportunities.
11. Songbirds and other birds - Nearly every site in Natural Kansas has some bird-viewing attributes. Kansas has a number of prairie-nesting species such as upland sandpipers, meadowlarks, dickcissels, and nighthawks. Beautiful neotropical birds, such as indigo and painted buntings, summer tanagers, northern parulas, and prothonotary warblers, nest at Elk City Lake in Southeast Kansas. With over 425 species of birds, Kansas is distinguished as a prairie mecca for experienced birders and novice watchers. Places that often offer something different to the experienced birder include:
12. Prairie dogs -
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