The Guide to Kansas Birds and Birding Hot Spots

Bob Gress and Pete Janzen

A Kansas Notable Book

Kansas is a bird-watcher's paradise, with its key location at the hub of the hemisphere's migration corridors and exceptional habitat diversity; 470 avian species have been documented within its borders. From spectacularly beautiful birds like Painted Buntings to elegant migrants like Hudsonian Godwits, birders can find abundant rewards every time they take to the field.

“An inspirational introduction to the wonderful natural history offered by midcontinental North America. . . . The outstanding color photographs by Gress are exceptionally sharp, colorful, and do well in depicting field marks with frame-filling views of each species profiled. . . . [This book] will prove a useful addition to your home or rolling library of Kansas’s natural history.

—Great Plains Research

“Kansans developing an interest in their state's birdlife will benefit greatly from this handbook. Gress and Janzen review 300 species—those most commonly encountered in bird-rich Kansas, which has an amazing 470 species. . . . This handy, authoritative introduction will be appreciated by residents and tourists alike.

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The Guide to Kansas Birds and Birding Hot Spots focuses on 295 species that are most likely to be encountered in the state. It helps occasional day-trippers or backyard observers identify and learn about birds that regularly occur in Kansas, with stunning color photos that enable those new to the hobby to identify their discoveries, plus tips on where to search for these species with the greatest likelihood of success.

Gress and Janzen have produced an exceptionally well-organized guide that divides birds into 18 groups based on similarity in appearance, habitat, or behavior, following taxonomic order only partially to make identification easier for the beginner. The entry for each bird gives its size, identifying features (including sexual and seasonal distinctions), and where and when it can be found. And each account includes a brilliant color photo of an adult of the species, with additional views of selected birds to illustrate male, female, or juvenile plumages.

The authors point out the best birding locations in the state-more than two dozen hot spots of which they have intimate knowledge—that reflect utterly different bird communities thriving only a few hours apart. They also provide a checklist for all state birds, a calendar of Kansas bird activity, and recommendations for binoculars and other field guides.

About the Author

Bob Gress is former director of the Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita and coauthor of Faces of the Great Plains: Prairie Wildlife and Watching Kansas Wildlife: A Guide to 101 Sites. His stunning wildlife photography has appeared in many publications.

Pete Janzen is active in the Kansas Ornithological Society and the Wichita Audubon Society and is author of The Birds of Sedgwick County and Cheney Reservoir, along with numerous articles on Kansas birds.

Kenn Kaufman is author of the popular Kaufman Focus Guides to birds and butterflies in North America and the recipient of the American Birding Association's prestigious Ludlow Griscom Award.