Wings ‘N’ Wetlands Festival Returns to
Great Bend, KS in 2015
After a drought resulted in the cancellation of the 2013 Wings ‘N’ Wetlands Festival, organizers are resurrecting the festival in 2015. The 2015 Wings ‘N’ Wetlands Festival is scheduled for April 24-25 and will offer participants a unique opportunity to bird two of the best birding spots of the Central Flyway, Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge.
“We are excited to be able to bring a diverse crowd of birders into the area to experience our wetlands as well as our area communities,” said Curtis Wolf, site manager of the KWEC. “As in the past, the main focus of the festival is on getting participants out on fieldtrips with experienced guides to find as many bird species as we can.”
Beyond the great guided birding trips, the two-day festival also includes educational workshops, relaxing socials, and opportunities to experience area attractions along the Wetlands and Wildlife National Scenic Byway. Most events will take place at the Best Western Angus Inn Courtyard in Great Bend.
The festival has been held approximately every other year since 2001. Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge are two Wetlands of International Importance and provide thousands of birds a stopover along their North and South migration routes. The festival dates coincide with the historical peak of shorebird migration, which provides opportunities to see numerous sandpipers, plovers, wading birds, and waterfowl. Approximately 180 species of birds have been recorded in most previous festivals. Notable species that may be observed are Black Rails, Snowy and Piping Plovers, and Least Terns.
Participants will include both novice and experienced birders. “There is something for birders of all levels. This festival is for people who like birds and birding, “explained Wolf.
This year’s festival will be coordinated as an event of the Kansas Birding Festival, Inc. Numerous organizations are helping to organize the event, including the Kansas Wetlands Education Center, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism, The Nature Conservancy, and the Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau. For more information, registration, and to follow the Festival, visit kansasbirdingfestival.org, the Wings ‘N’ Wetlands Facebook page, or contact the KWEC at 1-877-243-9268.