Kansas, also known as the Sunflower State or The Wheat State, is home to some wonderful sites in nature, whether it be the Cosmosphere Museum or the Strataca Underground Train, there is always plenty to see. But what about wildlife?
Well, there are some unique species that are native only to Kansas.
The white-tailed deer, the ivory-billed woodpecker, the big brown bat, or the Eastern woodpecker, there are many creatures here for you to spot.
But which ones are worth knowing about?
What are the more interesting animals that you might find in Kansas? Which parts of Kansas can you find these creatures?
How do they eat, behave, mate, and nest?
Well, we’ve compiled a list of 11 of the most interesting animals that you can find in this state, along with some great facts about them.
Kansas Fun Facts
First, it might be worth delving into the background of this state, so you can get a clearer picture of what makes it so unique and why some animals might flock to this area.
- Kansas is the home of Dodge City, which is also known as the Windy City as the windspeeds can get up to 14 miles per hour.
- There are lots of people that have settled in Kansas over the last 50 years, as of 2010, there are over 3 million currently residing in this state.
- During the American Civil War, more men were killed in the state of Kansas than in any other state in America.
- The name Kansas actually comes from the Native American word which means ‘People Of the Wind.’
- The hamburger chain White Castle came from Kansas, with the first store opening there in Wichita. However, now there are no White Castle stores in the whole of Kansas.
- Kansas is the home to a lot of farms and over 88% of the land is currently used for farming.
- This state also comes with a lot of caves, around 528 to be precise.
- Kansas was the first place to open an airplane factory. The Laird Swallow, which was the first plane to be mass manufactured, took its first flight in Wichita in 1920.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States, came from the town of Abilene in Kansas.
Now that you know a thing or two about Kansas, we can have a look at some of the interesting and vibrant critters that live there.
11 Interesting Animals In Kansas
We’ll organize these animals into species, so it is easier for you to look through them. First off, we’ll start with the mammals.
1. Mule Deer
This is a large deer that is native to Kansas. The color of its fur is brown in the summer, which changes to a more grayish color during the winter.
They can grow up to 7 feet long and weigh between 125 and 175 pounds.
These deer have larger ears than a lot of other species of deer. They have white tails with black at the tip.
The males have large antlers that they use during mating to fight other males.
They can be found in the dry and rocky areas of Kansas and eat shrubs and plants in the area.
This next mammal is the fastest in the whole of Kansas and it can run up to 60 miles per hour.
This is a much smaller deer, measuring around 4.5 feet in length and weighing a maximum of 150 pounds.
They have reddish-brown coloring and white stripes on their necks and faces.
This deer is one of the fastest creatures on the planet, coming second place to the mighty cheetah in Africa.
They have large, dark horns that are 12 inches in length.
This animal will mate during the late summer and early autumn and is completely herbivorous, only feeding on grass and shrubs in the area.
The bobcat is a very elusive animal in the state of Kansas and it can be found in a wide range of habitats.
They are carnivorous and are very good hunters, mainly eating low-flying birds that they swipe out of the air.
They have brown and stripey coloring, although sometimes their fur is reddish. They have short tails that are bobbed, with small tufts on their ears.
These animals are suffering from a decline in numbers, mainly because of their habitats being decimated.
4. Pileated Woodpecker
This bird is very striking, coming with a white and black striped body and a vibrant red crown.
You can often find this woodpecker in the forests or state parks of Kansas.
However, they make a distinctive tapping sound as they use their beak to bang dead trees for carpenter ants.
These birds often compete with other birds for nesting space and people who live in Kansas often report seeing this woodpecker in their backyard.
It mainly likes to eat insects and berries and will mate during the late spring and early summer weather.
5. American Robin
This is another bird that you can easily recognize from a little over a few hundred paces away. It comes with a red breast and a dark head that is unmistakable.
The American Robin can be found in forested areas, but it has also been seen in colder tundra areas.
The female is not as vibrant as the male, although they are bigger in size.
This bird can also be seen in urban areas, especially in areas where there are lots of insects, as this is their primary source of food.
6. Eastern Bluebird
Next up, we have a very pretty creature, a bluebird that comes with a beautiful sky-blue plumage and a tangerine chest.
This bird can often be seen darting across meadows in between trees, as this is where they build their nests.
They feed on a wide range of invertebrates including spiders, caterpillars, beetles, and crickets, which they do by perching on wire fences or low-hanging branches and then swooping down to attack.
They will also eat from bird feeders stocked with worms and bird meal.
7. Common Snapping Turtle
This is a turtle that you might have seen before, but make sure that you don’t get too close, as this small and muscular turtle has a strong bite.
This turtle can often be found in ponds and streams, where it mainly feasts on aquatic vegetation.
They can often be found floating at the surface of the water with just their nostrils poking out to breathe.
This turtle will often travel for miles to find either new habitats or burrows in which to lay their eggs.
This turtle is often hunted by humans and used in soups and stews.
8. Common Watersnake
This snake is often mistaken for the more poisonous Cottonmouth snake; however, this creature is completely non-venomous.
It has numerous nicknames like black water snake, brown water snake, common water snake, or common northern water snake.
This snake is brown, reddish and gray in color, having dark crossbands across its neck and blotches all over its body.
This snake comes out in both the day and the night and can often be seen getting sunlight on rocks or tree stumps.
9. Pond Slider
This next turtle is semi-aquatic in that it spends half of its time on the land and half of its time in the water.
This turtle has a green upper shell with yellow on the bottom shell.
To distinguish between the males and the females, the females usually have shorter front claws and tails than the males.
The Pond Slider will prey on smaller birds as well as their eggs.
They can often be seen near nests basking in the sunlight while they wait for the eggs to be left unattended.
These turtles are captured and kept as pets but quite often they end up escaping.
10. American Burying Beetles
This vibrantly colored beetle is what is called a carrion beetle, in that it will feed on the flesh of other creatures.
This beetle will prefer to dwell in Hickory forests or general grasslands.
They will often burrow during the winter and come out to mate only when the temperatures increase.
When they mate, the male and the female beetle will both have a hand in raising their young, which is quite uncommon in the insect community.
The male beetle will try and find a carcass and then begin the process of attracting a mate. The female will lay the eggs in a nearby tunnel.
11. Army Cutworm
This is a juvenile version of the Miller moth. They will usually hatch in farmlands during the spring and generally feed on alfalfa and canola.
We hope that our guide to some of the amazing beasts of the Kansas fields has helped to stoke your interest and encourage you to look for more species that are native to this state.
There are thousands of species of birds, mammals, reptiles and insects that dwell here, so happy hunting!
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