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!
Whooping Crane © Joel Jorgensen

Whooping Crane

A federally endangered species, a few are seen each year as they move from the Texas Coast to their breeding area in Canada.

Yellow-headed Blackbird © Deb Miller

Yellow-headed Blackbird

The icon of prairie potholes will greet with its bright color and raspy voice.

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.

Greater Prairie-Chicken © John Carlini

Greater Prairie-Chicken

A species that has disappeared from many historical breeding areas is still secure in Nebraska.

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.

Burrowing Owl © John Carlini

Burrowing Owl

Cuteness abounds when these owls inhabit prairie dog towns in the sandhills and western prairies.

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.

Not a member of Nebraska Ornithologists' Union?

Join Today