The Omaha area has several parks and wooded areas where non-city birds are more likely to be seen. In Bellevue, Fontenelle Forest Nature Center (1111 N. Bellevue Blvd., Bellevue, NE ()) has one of the greatest tracts of land where wildlife of all types can be observed. They also operate the Neale Woods Nature Center (()).
National Wildlife Reserves are protected areas where birds of all types can be seen. Around Omaha, there is DeSoto Bends National Wildlife Refuge just north on Interstate-29 right on the Nebraska-Iowa state line. While there, pick up a guide to other areas where you can enjoy Nebraska birds and other wildlife.
Nebraska's birds are an important component in the eco-system of the state and the Midwest. We are lucky to have some special species.
The Bald Eagle is on a comeback in Nebraska, mostly the northwestern portion of the state. There are sightings reported from all parts of the state, which is a good sign that our National bird can survive for following generations to enjoy.
The Barn Owl is a welcome sight to farmers with grain crops.
The Brown Eagle is a protected species but Nebraska has a good chance of helping to preserve this great bird.
The Blue Heron feeds on small to mid-sized fish. The Platte River provides the right environment for hunting out these tasty morsels.
When you have farms and grain, you have mice. When you have mice, you have the Great Horned Owl.
Where the Western Meadowlark takes care of insects, the Field Hawk takes care of rodents such as field mice.
The Grouse is a popular game bird in Nebraska.
The Mallard Duck is plentiful in Nebraska due to the many lakes and streams we have. The animal is so common, most city parks with a lake have a few semi-permanent residents.
The Western Meadowlark is the state bird of Nebraska. It is no wonder as the bird is abundant and valuable to farmers in reducing insects. The bird is wide-ranging throughout the Midwest and western states, spanning from roughly the Mississippi River and Great Lakes west to the Pacific, penetrating slightly into Canada, and also the northern half of Mexico. It is also the official state bird of Kansas, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Oregon.
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The Osprey is common along Nebraska's Interstate and side roads. The road offers a clearing where anything moving will stand out.
The Pheasant is a popular game bird in Nebraska.
Quail is a popular game bird in Nebraska.
The Red-Winged Blackbird gets its name from the red stripe on its wings; the bird is common throughout the Midwest.
The Sandpiper is common along the Platte River where there are abundant sandbars to feed on, offering protection from ground based predators.
The spring and fall are a favorite time for nature and bird lovers as this is when the Snow Geese migrate through the area. Often they will tip you off to raise the binoculars skyward as they honk to each other. It is probably the younger ones asking, "Are we there yet?"
The Snowy Egret is found along the slow moving streams where wading can provide food.
The Vulture cleans up road-kill making it safe so you don't skid.
We are extremely lucky to be directly in the path of the Sandhill Crane's migration path as it travels north to Canada and south to Mexico. This is no small bird. The Sandhill Crane is not on the endangered species list but it is everyone's duty to help preserve this species. To convince you, drive to the area between Grand island and Kearney when the birds pass through. Also, stop in Grand Island and check out the crane sculptures around town.
For more information on Nebraska birds and wildlife, visit the official Nebraska Games and Wildlife website.
Also, visit the Omaha Audubon website.