Kansas - The Middle Of It All: Spring Migration and Prairie-Chickens

      Phillipsburg, KS 67661, USA

      4 reviews
      Apr 21 - 24, 2023
      Group size: 5 - 7
      Kansas - The Middle Of It All: Spring Migration and Prairie-Chickens
      Phillipsburg, KS 67661, USA

      4 reviews

      Apr 21 - 24, 2023
      Group size: 5 - 7

      About this trip

      An American Serengeti Series Trip

      Much has been written over the years about Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in Kansas. These wetlands fall square in the middle of the Central Flyway and are two of the most important stopover sites for migrating shorebirds in the world. Up to 250,000 waterfowl and nearly half of all North American shorebirds migrating east of the Rockies stop in the area to rest and refuel during migration. Of the 460+ bird species known to Kansas, more than 310 species have been observed at Quivira and more than 340 at the Bottoms. Flocks of Sandhill Cranes pass through in the spring and fall, with an occasional group of Whooping Cranes. Where there are waterfowl and shorebirds, there will be birds of prey.

      In addition to birding at Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira, we’ll visit two different prairie-chicken leks – one morning at a private ranch with resident Greater Prairie-Chickens and a second morning in the heart of Kansas’ Lesser Prairie-Chicken habitat. The raucous displays of prairie-chickens include stomping, booming, whooping, and sparring. With exposed tail coverts and colorful balloon-like air sacs flashing, few performances in the bird world are more memorable than the dawn dance of prairie-chickens.

      We’ll spend four days exploring Kansas’ birding and wildlife hotspots. We have strategically selected areas away from crowds so that we have the time and space to truly enjoy these wildlife spectacles in true Reefs to Rockies style. We’ll travel along scenic and historic byways in a custom American safari van with a conversion pop-top and spacious seating. This is not the traditional passenger van you may have traveled in on past trips. This one-of-a-kind vehicle has been specially designed by two wildlife biologists to allow for optimal viewing. It makes a perfect ‘blind’ and there’s ample room for everyone to view at the same time. 

      Join Reefs to Rockies Co-founder Sheridan Samano for an unforgettable spring migration trip to The Middle Of It All. 

      Conservation Impact

      The Southern Plains Land Trust (SPLT), founded in 1998, creates and protects a network of shortgrass prairie preserves, ensuring a future for native flora and fauna. A donation to SPLT to aid in their land acquisition efforts will be made on behalf of all participants. 

      What’s included

      • Accommodations
        Double occupancy standard room
      • Meals as listed
        3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 2 dinners
      • Private transportation
        From Denver in a custom American safari van
      • Expedition Leader
        Sheridan Samano, Co-founder of Reefs to Rockies
      • Daily wildlife viewing
        With spotting scope available
      • Activities as listed
      • Conservation donation
      • Meeting point
        Transportation to/from the meeting point in east Denver.
      • Travel insurance
      • 1 dinner
      • Personal items

      Available options


      Day 1 (Fri, April 21)
      Denver to Phillipsburg, KS

      Morning departure from Denver. As we work our way east to Phillipsburg, we’ll stop at Nicodemus National Historic Site and in the Maxwell area to search for migrating waterfowl. Late afternoon arrival to Phillipsburg. We’ll have time to check in at our hotel before our Welcome Dinner in town.

      Accommodations: Econo Lodge

      Meals: Lunch and Dinner 

      Estimated drive time today: Denver to Phillipsburg – 5 hrs

      Your Organizer

      Reefs to Rockies
      4 reviews
      Our specialty is nature and wildlife travel. We know when and where to go for the best experiences. Travel time is limited. It’s important to choose a travel company that knows how to personalize a trip just for you. Our travel specialists will help you plan a custom trip that matches your travel style, budget, interests, and ideal dates.


      The intent of this trip was to witness the butterflies in Mexico, and it did not disappoint! All other events were organized and well thought out to complement each other. Guides Rueben and Yvonne were a delight. Would highly recommend this wonderful adventure.
      By Linda M for Magical Mexico with Denver Botanic Gardens on 23 Jan, 2023
      Jose was a great guide. Very interesting and fun adventures. The canal float was the best! Reefs to Rockies is very great to work with and help before, during and after travel. Thanks!
      By Stephanie W for Yucatan Holiday Adventure - Prepared for Lusty and Weaver Family on 22 Jan, 2023
      This trip was a real pleasure! It was well organized, with lovely accommodations both in CDMX and Valle de Bravo, comfortable transportation, and cordial and knowledgeable guides. The food was always good and sometimes amazing! Visiting the monarch preserves was a truly awe inspiring experience.
      By Linda R for Birds and Butterflies of Central Mexico on 22 Jan, 2023
      The trip was magnificent and we had a marvelous time seeing new birds in Mexico, seeing millions of Monarch Butterflies in several different areas, enjoying magnificent resorts and food in various and varied places! ALL delicious! Everyone we met (all the different guides and locals) plus our travel companions who became new friends were great!! We Loved It All… thank you Sheridan and Ruben.
      By Beverly D for Birds and Butterflies of Central Mexico on 20 Jan, 2023