flock of Wilson's phalaropes
Wilson's phalarope flock (Phalaropus tricolor) These shorebirds are abundant at Cheyenne Bottoms for both spring and fall migration. © Judd Patterson


Wings and Wetlands Festival

Find answers to your questions.



  • How do I register?

    Online registration is preferred.

    A paper registration form may be printed HERE.

    General registration is $175 per person.
    Registrations after April 1, 2019 will be $225.

  • Who should attend Wings & Wetlands?

    You! The festival is geared for beginning and intermediate birdwatchers wanting to improve their shorebird identification skills; all skill levels are welcome.

    How do we define skill level?

    Beginner: I can identify a few common Midwest species like house sparrow and robin, red-winged blackbird or cowbird.

    Intermediate: I can identify groups of shorebirds like plovers and sandpipers. I can distinguish between a few species with similar appearances (killdeer vs. semipalmated plover, dowitchers vs. yellowlegs)

    Advanced: I can identify many shorebirds by sight and/or call. I can differentiate many species in a mixed flock or from a distance.

  • What is included in the registration fee?

    Registration includes three (3) guided birding field trips, shorebird identification workshop, Saturday event program and two (2) evening meals plus one (1) breakfast.

    Friday evening birding and greater prairie-chicken tours on Saturday and Sunday are available for additional fees.

    Registration does not include lodging.

  • Where is the festival located?

    The festival is stationed at the Stoneridge Country Club in Great Bend, Kansas. Field trips will depart and return from the country club. Evening programs and included meals will be served at the country club.

    Field trips go to Cheyenne Bottoms (both TNC's nature preserve & Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism's Wildlife Area) and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge.

  • What if it rains?

    In the event of inclement weather, field trips may be cancelled at the discretion of festival organizers. No refunds are available for any field trips cancelled due to weather.

  • What if I need to cancel?

    If you are unable to attend the festival after registering, call 785-233-4400 immediately to cancel. Cancellations before April 1 will receive a full refund. Cancellations after April 1 are not refundable.

Field Trips

  • What is the schedule of events?

    General Registration Includes:

    Friday, May 3, 2019

    12noon - Check-in opens
    1:30pm - Beginning Shorebird ID workshop
    3:30pm - Field Trip #1 departs
    6:30pm - Evening meal served

    Saturday, May 4, 2019

    4:30am - Breakfast served
    6:00am - Field Trip #2 departs
    12noon - Lunch on your own
    3:00pm - Field Trip #3 departs
    6:30pm - Evening meal served
    7:30pm - Keynote Speaker—Al Batt


    Add-On Field Trips

    Night Tour - Friday, 5/3, 8-10pm, $10
    Greater Prairie Chicken Tours - Saturday & Sunday,  5/4 & 5/5,  5:00am , $15 each 

  • How do the field trips work?

    Expert birding guides will lead participants in 12 and 15 passenger vans. Field trips will leave from the festival headquarters and go to Cheyenne Bottoms, Quivira National Wildlife Refuge and other area birding hotspots, depending on the guide and participant desires. Most birding will be done from vehicles; however proper outdoor clothing and shoes should be worn.

  • What will I see on the field trips?

    The festival occurs during the typical peak of shorebird and waterfowl migration. Typically, 150-180 species of birds are documented during the festival, primarily wetland species.  Bird lists from past festivals can be found at kansasbirdingfestival.com.


  • Where do I stay?

    Participants are responsible or their own lodging arrangements. Several hotels in Great Bend offer special rates for festival attendees. You must call in reservations and mention the Wings & Wetlands Festival to receive these rates.

    For more information on hotel accommodations check visitgreatbend.com or call 620-792-2750.

  • Is transportation available?

    Transportation is provided for the guided field trips only. All other shuttling is the responsibility of participants.  Uber and Lyft are both available in Great Bend.

  • Where do I eat?

    Festival registration includes evening meals on Friday and Saturday and breakfast on Saturday at the Stoneridge Country Club.

    All other meals are on your own. A list of restaurants and special deals will be provided at check-in.

  • What if I have special dietary needs?

    For evening meals, two salads are available in place of the regular meal. Please indicate the alternative meal on your registration. Non-dairy and gluten-free snacks and breakfast items will also be available.

    Cobb salad: lettuce, ham, bacon, egg, grilled chicken, tomato, onion, cheese, and croutons

    Garden salad: lettuce, carrots, tomato, onion, cheese, and croutons


Wings and Wetlands Festival

May 3 & 4, 2019