Leawood, KS, is a beautiful suburban community that offers more than just picturesque neighborhoods and parks. It’s also home to a rich diversity of local wildlife that can be found in its lush landscapes and nature preserves. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply looking for family-friendly outdoor activities, exploring the local wildlife in Leawood is a fantastic way to connect with nature. Let’s dive into some of the fascinating creatures you can encounter in this charming area.

A deer in a clearing of woods in Leawood, KS

White-Tailed Deer

White-tailed deer are one of the most common and majestic sights in Leawood. These graceful animals are frequently seen grazing in open fields and wooded areas. Recognizable by their white tails and tan coats, they are a delight to observe, especially during the early morning and late afternoon hours. Leawood’s parks and nature trails, such as those at the Prairie Oak Nature Center, provide excellent opportunities to spot these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.

Red Foxes

Red foxes are another intriguing species found in Leawood. Known for their striking reddish fur and bushy tails, these clever mammals are often seen in suburban areas, especially during dawn and dusk. Red foxes are highly adaptable and can thrive in a variety of environments, from forests to urban settings. They primarily feed on small mammals, birds, and insects, helping to maintain the ecological balance. Observing a red fox can be an exciting and memorable experience for families exploring the great outdoors.

Eastern Bluebirds

Birdwatchers in Leawood will be thrilled by the presence of Eastern bluebirds. These small, brightly colored birds are known for their vibrant blue plumage and melodic songs. Eastern bluebirds are often found in open fields and meadows, where they nest in tree cavities or birdhouses. They primarily feed on insects and berries, making them an important part of the local ecosystem. The Prairie Oak Nature Center is a wonderful place to see these beautiful birds and learn more about their behaviors and habitats.

Great Horned Owls

Leawood’s night skies come alive with the calls of great horned owls. These large, powerful birds of prey are easily identified by their tufted ears and piercing yellow eyes. Great horned owls are skilled hunters, preying on a variety of animals, including rodents, birds, and even skunks. They are most active at night, and their eerie hoots can often be heard echoing through the trees. The Owl Rehabilitation and Release Center in Leawood offers educational programs and opportunities to learn more about these fascinating nocturnal birds.

Monarch Butterflies

During the warmer months, Leawood becomes a haven for monarch butterflies. These striking insects are famous for their vibrant orange and black wings and their incredible migratory journey. Monarchs can be seen fluttering around gardens, meadows, and parks, particularly in areas with milkweed plants, which are essential for their lifecycle. The presence of monarch butterflies adds a touch of magic to Leawood’s natural beauty, and they play a crucial role in pollination.


Raccoons are a familiar sight in Leawood, often seen exploring backyards or foraging in wooded areas. These nocturnal mammals are known for their distinctive black “masks” and ringed tails. Raccoons are highly adaptable and have thrived in both rural and urban environments. They are omnivorous, feeding on a wide variety of foods, including fruits, insects, and small animals. Raccoons are fascinating to observe, especially for children, who are often intrigued by their clever and curious nature.

American Toads

American toads are commonly found in Leawood’s gardens, forests, and wetlands. These small amphibians are known for their bumpy skin and distinctive call, which is often heard during the breeding season. American toads play an important role in controlling insect populations, as they feed on a variety of bugs and pests. They are also a great indicator of environmental health, making their presence a positive sign for local ecosystems. Kids will enjoy spotting these toads and learning about their life cycle and habitats.

Gray Squirrels

Gray squirrels are one of the most frequently spotted animals in Leawood. These agile and acrobatic rodents are often seen darting up trees and across lawns. Known for their gray fur and bushy tails, gray squirrels are a common sight in parks, gardens, and wooded areas. They are active year-round, gathering and storing food for the winter months. Watching gray squirrels can be a fun and educational experience for children, who will delight in their playful antics.

Eastern Cottontail Rabbits

Eastern cottontail rabbits are another delightful species that call Leawood home. These small, brown rabbits are easily recognized by their white, fluffy tails. They are commonly found in meadows, gardens, and wooded areas, where they feed on a variety of plants and grasses. Eastern cottontails are most active during the early morning and evening hours, making them a frequent sight for families enjoying a walk or picnic in the park. Observing these gentle creatures can be a peaceful and enjoyable experience for all ages.

Red-Tailed Hawks

Red-tailed hawks are majestic birds of prey that soar above Leawood’s open spaces and forests. These large hawks are easily identified by their broad wings and distinctive red tails. Red-tailed hawks are skilled hunters, feeding primarily on small mammals and birds. Their keen eyesight and powerful flight make them fascinating to watch as they glide gracefully through the sky. Leawood’s nature trails and parks provide excellent vantage points for observing these impressive raptors in action.

Leawood, KS, is a community rich in natural beauty and diverse wildlife, offering endless opportunities for families to connect with nature and learn about the local ecosystem. From graceful deer and clever foxes to vibrant butterflies and majestic hawks, there’s always something new and exciting to discover. At Crème de la Crème daycare and early learning center, we believe in nurturing a love for nature and wildlife in our young learners. We encourage you to explore the natural wonders of Leawood with your family and create lasting memories together. To learn more about our programs and schedule a tour, visit our website or contact us today. Let’s inspire the next generation of nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts!

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash