Quivira Wildlife Refuge
Quivira National Wildlife Refuge is ten miles to the south of Ellinwood, KS. It's 21 miles of canals divert water to 34 wetlands from 10 to 1,500 acres in size. Its area contains the Big and Little Salt Marshes that were market hunting and hunt club locations over a century ago. There are nature trails, an auto tour, photography blinds and a visitor center.
Bird watching and wildlife viewing opportunities abound at Quivira NWR. What you see depends largely on the time of year as well as the time of day you are here. For optimum viewing, early morning or late afternoon are suggested. Bobcats, coyotes, and other mammals are often seen lurking about during the heat of the afternoon. At the extreme north end of the Refuge, a thriving prairie dog community can be found.
Both salt marshes are excellent places to look for birds such as mallards, wood ducks, pintails, white pelicans and more. Fall is an excellent time to see large numbers of these birds. If you are more interested in shorebirds and water birds, the spring and early summer are the best times to visit. It is not uncommon to see large numbers of Great blue herons, American avocets, sandpipers, and snowy plovers, as well as the beautiful white-faced ibis, or the spinning phalaropes going round and round in circles stirring up the mud looking for a meal.
As you travel through the Refuge, keep your eyes open for white-tailed deer, beaver, raccoons, wild turkeys and other wildlife. There are many parking areas throughout the Refuge which afford visitors a chance to stop and walk around the Refuge or take photographs. No matter what time of year you choose to come, a sharp-eyed visitor will certainly see something worth remembering.
Hwy 50, N at Stafford 6 miles, then E 6 miles