New book on wetland birds perfect gift for birders
PRATT — A new book is now available to birders and visitors of Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area, near Great Bend. The Birds of Cheyenne Bottoms has been a work in progress for several years for author Robert L. Penner II, Cheyenne Bottoms and Avian Programs Manager for The Nature Conservancy of Kansas.

The 156-page book includes summarized species accounts of the 333 species of birds that have been identified at Cheyenne Bottoms. The accounts include regional, state, and national abundance information for each species, as well as dates and numbers of high counts of birds taken from various observations and counts conducted at the wildlife area. The book also includes original sketches of several birds from Penner’s own collection of ink drawings. This is a useful resource for experienced birders and beginners, as well as others interested in wildlife and Cheyenne Bottoms.

The book may be purchased for $9.95 plus tax at the Kansas Wetlands Education Center's Wetlands Gift Store, 8 miles northeast of Great Bend on U.S. Highway 156, on the southeast portion of Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area. The book is also available by phoning the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) Outdoor store, 620-672-5911. The publication of the book was paid for by KDWP's Chickadee Checkoff program and the Wetlands Education Center, which is operated by Fort Hays State University. Proceeds from book sales will go toward education programs at the Education Center.

Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area is a 19,000-acre wetland complex and is a major stopover for migrating birds in North America. It has been designated a Wetland of International Importance. The Chickadee Checkoff program includes a volunteer donation line on the state individual income tax form devoted to nongame conservation efforts.

The Kansas Wetlands Education Center is operated as a branch museum of Fort Hays State University’s Sternberg Museum of Natural History and is dedicated to educating the public about wetland ecosystems and their importance. For questions about the Center or The Birds of Cheyenne Bottoms, phone 1-877-243-9268.