Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Wildlife Sanctuary just west of Salina.

About the Sanctuary

Our largest education and conservation effort for over 25 years has been the protection and development of the Smoky Hills Audubon H.V. Lear Sanctuary. The sanctuary is open to the public. This 66-acre preserve is near the intersection of I-70 and I-135 on Stimmel Road about a half mile east of ElSaline school. Our sanctuary is on the north side of Stimmel, featuring a beautiful 20-acre pond and numerous trails through prairie and woodland habitat. Trails, a photo blind, and bench resting areas are strategically located throughout. Our members support the Sanctuary through donations of time and money. The Sanctuary is available for environmental education by individuals, schools, scouting groups and others, or for visits by anyone seeking to enjoy nature. There are numerous native and non-native trees fringing the bluebird trails, as well as native grasses. Wildlife include deer, possum, raccoon, turkey, bobwhite quail, pheasant, red-tailed hawk and numerous species of birds and waterfowl. Though the setting is noisy because of nearby interstate traffic and motocross arenas, it is ideal for nature photography.

Enjoy Nature at the Sanctuary!

Pack a picnic, lace up your shoes, spray on the bug spray and grab a camera or binoculars. There are many opportunities to see and hear the sites and sounds of the wildlife sanctuary while walking the trails.

The sanctuary is open to the public. This 66-acre preserve is near the intersection of I-70 and I-135 on Stimmel Road about a half mile east of ElSaline school. Our sanctuary is on the north side of Stimmel.

Tips on Photography

Here are a few tips from Audubon.org (https://www.audubon.org/news/how-compose-perfect-bird-photo#) to help you achieve the perfect bird shot. 

Get Creative 

While composition adds another level of complexity to photography, it also gives you an opportunity to be creative. Try changing your shooting angle or the amount of distance between you and the bird.

Know the Rule of Thirds 

A common pitfall among beginner photographers is to always put the bird in the exact center of the image. It’s an understandable impulse, but one that results in all of your photos looking the same. Instead, experiment with the rule of thirds and place the bird along an invisible line a third of the way from the edge of the image.

Tell a Story 

In addition to composing a visually appealing photo, you should think about what the image will say to people who weren’t there when you took the shot. 

Smoky Hills Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary 1976 to 90

Provided by Mark Neubrand