Birding at the fort
A park ranger leads a bird program at the fort.

"We had a magnificent sight on the way - A vast herd of buffalo approached in line, at full gallop through the mirage - advancing in the most perfect order, I should say, for a distance of at least 10 miles!" Capt. Albert Barnitz, 7th US Cavalry, en route to Fort Larned, July 12, 1868.

You won't see a large herd of bison, elk, wolves, or grizzly bears at Fort Larned today, but these creatures were here historically. Pressured by changes in the land by the hand of man, these animals and their habitats that once dominated this land have been marginalized. Fort Larned National Historic Site protects a small area of grassland, offering a window into this now radically altered ecosystem.

Today, mule deer and white-tail deer are the only hoofed mammals still here. You can still find many small mammals: fox squirrels, thirteen-lined ground squirrels, prairie dogs, pocket gophers, beavers, skunks, raccoons, opossums, coyotes, muskrats, weasels, and badgers. Occasionally, armadillos may be seen in this northern extreme of their range. Several species of reptiles may also be found at Fort Larned: lizards, toads, turtles, bullsnakes, blue racers, hog-nosed snakes, and garter snakes.

The nature trail’s variety of habitats provide for numerous species of birds such as hawks, orioles, kingbirds, blue jays, cardinals, Northern harriers, disckcissels, and red-headed woodpeckers, among many others. Fort Larned is located on the Central Flyway, a major bird migration corridor. White-fronted geese, sandhill cranes, and many other species pass over Fort Larned during spring and fall migrations.

Last updated: July 20, 2020

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1767 KS Hwy 156
Larned, KS 67550


This phone is answered during regular business hours. After hours calls will be answered the next day. Please select a mailbox or leave a message on the main extension when the fort is closed.

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