(Courtesy NEBRASKAland Magazine/NGPC)
If you drive across Nebraska, you will notice there are a wide variety of habitats – forests, prairie, shrubland, wetlands, urban, and farmland.
Nebraska is often characterized by vast prairies; Nebraska is home to shortgrass prairies in the west, mixed grass prairies in the central part of the state, and tallgrass prairies in the east. Although all prairies receive little rain, shortgrass prairies receive the least while tallgrass prairies receive the most. These sunny, dry prairies provide habitat for a diverse group of birds including game birds, songbirds, and raptors.
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Along the extreme eastern edge of the state there is a narrow band of Eastern Deciduous Forests. Deciduous forests are also located at the Nebraska National Forest in the north central region of Nebraska. These forests contain many different plant species, but are dominated by deciduous Of course these forest are a perfect habitat for woodpeckers but, numerous other birds are found in Eastern Deciduous Forests.
In addition to prairies and forest, Nebraska is home to several kinds of wetlands including Playa Wetlands in the south central part of the state, riparian wetlands along rivers and streams, and Sandhill wetlands in the north central part of the state. Wetlands provide excellent habitat for birds migrating through the area and for birds to reproduce and raise their young.
Urban areas such as cities and towns also provide habitat for many bird species. In fact, some bird species, like starlings and pigeons, have adapted to thrive in urban areas. Farms are also a great place for many bird species to find good habitat.
And, although Nebraska is home to vast prairies, we also have many shore birds which utilize the lakes across the state. These birds can be seen wading along the shore of lakes from Omaha to Scottsbluff! Many of these same lakes provide habitat for goose, duck, and swan species.
Just as the habitats across Nebraska are diverse, so, too are the bird species! In fact, Nebraska is a great place to see hundreds of different bird species.