Photos: Kibler Bottoms
Saturday marked my first time to Kibler Bottoms in Crawford County. Kibler Bottoms is a roughly loop drive that goes south into agriculture fields in the bottoms of the Arkansas river Valley.
While there, I got my first glimpses of Swainson’s Hawks. The three Swainson’s Hawks we found were in adult light morph, meaning they had darker heads, white on the upper part of the underwings. The underwings were darker moving down and out. Typically found in grasslands, range maps on allaboutbirds.org show they are typically found in the United States during breeding season. Their breeding season range is more west of Arkansas, but I’m told Kibler Bottoms is a great place to spot them around this time in Arkansas.
Another rare bird found was a Buff-breasted Sandpiper that foraged in a field alongside American Golden-Plovers, a Horned Lark. A Scissor-tailed Flycatcher was also sitting in the field nearby. The migration range of the Buff-breasted Sandpiper just passes through western Arkansas so we didn’t expect to see one Saturday. This sandpiper is typically found in dry, grassy habitats according to allaboutbirds.org. They nest only in the High Arctic of northernmost Alaska and Canada and then migrate to South America.
Overall, we found 218 birds of 24 species. Here’s photos of some of the other birds spotted: