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

      Phillipsburg, KS 67661, USA

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

      26 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 Packages

      Trip Price
      Deposit: $750

      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
      26 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.


      This was a wonderful trip! It was well planned with a great variety of terrain and thus a cornucopia of birds to see. The guide and trip leader, Chip Clouse, was incredible -extremely knowledgeable, a great teacher, personable and fun, and concerned with everyone's needs and comfort. He was easily able accommodate and work with the very wide range of experience of the participants from beginner to expert. I am a new birder and feel really fortunate that he was my trip guide and leader. I learned so much from him! I loved that all the costs (except one dinner) were included - including gratuities - so I didn't have to keep track of finances on the trip. There were only seven participants on the trip - eight including Chip - so I could get to know and enjoy everyone. And the vehicle - the Roaming Bison with the pop-up top - was great! It could go anywhere and everyone could see everything easily. I definitely recommend this company for your birding trips!!
      By Barbara P for New Mexico’s Birding Hotspots on Dec 07, 2023
      Barbara, thank you for taking the time to provide your trip feedback. We're thrilled that this trip was a wonderful experience for you and we hope to see you again soon!
      By Reefs to Rockies on Dec 07, 2023
      A small compatible group with an excellent guide/driver, Chip Clouse. He worked hard at getting us birds in the face of snow and winds. He was tuned into our wants and needs. The Roaming Bison is a vehicle to behold!
      By Gayle L for New Mexico’s Birding Hotspots on Dec 06, 2023
      Gayle, thank you for taking the time to share your feedback about your recent trip to New Mexico. We're glad Chip delivered on bird sightings and that the Roaming Bison Safari Van was a vehicle to behold!
      By Reefs to Rockies on Dec 06, 2023
      My daughter had a great trip. She enjoyed the different aspects of Costa rica!
      By Susmita B for Costa Rica 2023: In-the-Water Sea Turtle Conservation, Humpback Whales on Sep 28, 2023
      Thank you for sharing this review with us! We're happy to hear she enjoyed her time in Costa Rica!
      By Reefs to Rockies on Sep 28, 2023
      My daughter Had a wonderful time with My Costa Rica. Acoording to her Great service and communication.The tours were excellent. The guides were knowledgeable and very kind. All the hotels were nice.
      By Anayatullah S for Costa Rica 2023: In-the-Water Sea Turtle Conservation, Humpback Whales on Sep 27, 2023
      It was an absolute pleasure having her on the trip! We're happy to hear she enjoyed her trip.
      By Reefs to Rockies on Sep 27, 2023
      This was a wonderful trip. The sights were incredible, the animals amazing, the guiding outstanding and the company congenial and fun. Our accommodations were all quite nice with enchanting scenery. We appreciated staying 2 nights in each place and not having to move every day. Sheridan and Pam were a great team and made sure everyone was comfortable and accommodated in every way. We came away with great memories of a great adventure. It was more than we had hoped for!
      By Patty J for Wildlife Wonders of Vancouver Island - Bears, Birds, and Whales on Aug 27, 2023
      Thank you for the kind words, Patty! It was an absolute pleasure traveling with you and Jeff as we explored North Vancouver Island.
      By Reefs to Rockies on Aug 28, 2023
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