Birding in Nebraska

photo by Janis Paseka © Janis Paseka
photo by Kathy DeLara © Kathy DeLara

There are so many wonderful birds and bird habitats in Nebraska that a single lifetime isn't nearly long enough to enjoy them all. Nebraska’s Platte Valley annually hosts the world's largest crane concentration, and also is the most frequent stopover-point for migrating Whooping Cranes. Our Sandhills region of grassy dunes and wetlands hosts many endemic prairie birds, including both Greater Prairie-Chickens and Sharp-tailed Grouse. Our western Pine Ridge country is a miniature Rocky Mountain ecosystem, with many western songbirds and raptors. The Missouri Valley forests ring each spring and summer with the voices of eastern warblers, tanagers, and flycatchers. Like two clear blue ribbons, the Niobrara and Platte rivers connect both ends of the state and provide the meeting grounds for several species of eastern and western birds. What more could a bird-lover want in a state?

Dr. Paul A. Johnsgard, Professor Emeritus, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Why Bird Nebraska?

   Don't miss the outstanding slideshow of breeding birds!
Western Meadowlark © Bob Gerten

Western Meadowlark

The songster of our massive grasslands, the Nebraska state bird, is found throughout the state.

Black-necked Stilt © Michael Willison

Black-necked Stilt

A bird that has been expanding eastward, it is still more likely to be found in the west.

Cerulean Warbler © Phil Swanson

Cerulean Warbler

Small pockets of this imperiled species remain in Nebraska primarily in Missouri Valley deciduous forests.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak © Phil Swanson

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

A harbinger of spring in the east, it overlaps in the west with its cousin, Black-headed Grosbeak.

Chestnut-collared Longspur © Michael Willison

Chestnut-collared Longspur

Primarily known from the more northern prairies, this species is a prize for many in western Nebraska.

American Avocet © Jan Johnson

American Avocet

A large and colorful shorebird, most breeding birds are found in the western wetlands.

Birds of Nebraska

There is a reason the Peterson guides used the 100th meridian, which dissects Nebraska, as the change from eastern to western species.

Birding Activities

Nebraska has an active birding community involved in regular activities like seasonal surveys as well as regional festivals.

NEBirds Discussion Group

Join our Yahoo group to discuss recent sightings, identification questions, and other topics of general interest to Nebraska birders.

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