Birds of Nebraska

Nebraska has over 450 species officially enlisted and accepted by the Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union (NOU). The state has about 100 accidental, over 100 casual, 3 extirpated, and 2 extinct species. The passenger pigeon and Carolina parakeet are the two extinct birds, while the lesser prairie-chicken, ruffed grouse, and swallow-tailed kite have been extirpated.

Most backyard birds can be spotted all year or seasonally in the case of migratory species. Yet certain birds remain specific to a particular region. For instance, the common loon is mostly found in eastern Nebraska during spring and fall. Whereas the great Blue heron inhabits the western and central part of the state. The double-crested cormorant mainly thrives in northern and western Nebraska. The sandhill crane is one of the most notable migratory birds in the state, visiting from February through April.

Along with the sandhill crane, the wild turkey, and double-crested cormorant are some of the biggest birds found here. On the other hand, the black-capped chickadee and white-breasted nuthatch are the smaller birds of Nebraska.

The western meadowlark has been designated as Nebraska’s state bird officially.

Birds of Nebraska

  • Western Meadowlark 
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • American Goldfinch
  • Wood Stork
  • Eastern Meadowlark
  • Northern Harrier
  • Piping Plover
  • Common Loon
  • Roseate Spoonbill
  • Broad-winged Hawk
  • Red-headed Woodpecker
  • Sandhill Crane
  • Orchard Oriole
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • American Tree Sparrow
  • Harris’s Sparrow
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • Canada Goose
  • Whooping Crane
  • Iceland Gull
  • Mourning Dove
  • Northern Flicker
  • European Starling
  • Ferruginous Hawk
  • Dark-eyed Junco
  • Barn Swallow
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Greater Prairie-Chicken
  • Harris’s Sparrow
  • American Coot
  • House Finch
  • American Kestrel
  • Red-necked Phalarope
  • Roseate Spoonbill
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Black-bellied Whistling-duck
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Blue Jay
  • California  Gull
  • American Herring Gull
  • Northern Goshawk
  • Solitary Sandpiper

Backyard Birds:

All-year-roundAmerican Robin, Western Meadowlark, Northern Cardinal, Hairy Woodpecker

Migratory Birds:

In Summer: Black and White Warbler, Orchard Oriole, Cliff Swallow, Summer Tanager, Chipping Sparrow

In Winter: Sandhill Crane, Dark-eyed Junco, White-breasted Nuthatch, Great Blue Heron

Birds of PreyNorthern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Goshawk, Broad-winged Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk

Water Birds: American Coot, Common Loon, Wood Stork, Black-bellied Whistling-duck, Roseate Spoonbill

Common Birds Identification by Color

Yellow Birds

  • Yellow-breasted chat
  • Western Meadowlark
  • American Yellow Warbler
  • Yellow-throated Vireo
  • Common Yellowthroat

Blue Birds

  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Mountain Bluebird
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Blue Jay

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