"You cannot see the Front Range from the western border of Kansas, but the effects of the Rocky Mountains modify the biota of lands east to the Mississippi River and beyond. A knowledgeable observer traveling west from Indiana might discern subtle shifts in the composition of forests and in the plants growing along the railroad rights-of-way, but from western Missouri to the far edge of Kansas change becomes obvious. Biotic transition is the theme when moving west into the deepening rain shadow of the Rocky Mountains; it is the phenomenon that makes bird finding in western Missouri and Kansas an adventure in finding the unexpected."Zimmerman and Patti, A Guide to Bird Finding in Kansas and Western Missouri, University Press of Kansas, 1988
There are 475 species (including 12 hypothetical species) on the official KOS checklist, published by the Kansas Ornithological Society. The central position of the state in the continent, and the diversity of habitats (ranging from Ozark forest to sand/sage prairie) ensures a diverse avifauna. Eastern and Western Kingbirds, Eastern and Western Meadowlarks, Rose-breasted and Black-headed Grosbeaks, Painted and Lazuli Buntings, and Brown Thrashers and Sage Thrashers epitomize the schizophrenic nature of the avifauna of Kansas. Come visit and see for yourself!