Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version

December 1998


Published in The Nebraska Bird Review 66:4 (December 1998), pp. 115–121. Used by permission of the Nebraska Ornithologists' Union .


I estimate that 215 bird species currently breed or have previously bred in Nebraska. This number compares with a total of 330 spe¬cies that breed or have bred in the Great Plains region south of Canada, as I defined that region in my book on the breeding birds of the Great Plains (Johnsgard, 1979). An analysis of the relative species diversity of Nebraska's breeding avifauna establishes several areas of unusual species richness and endemicity, these most important being the Missouri Valley and associated middle to lower Niobrara Valley, the Pine Ridge area of the northwestern Panhandle, and the entire Platte Valley.
Species of Birds Considered as Pandemic Breeders Across Nebraska include Pied-billed Grebe American Bittern Great Blue Heron Black-crowned Night Heron Canada Goose Mallard Northern Pintail Blue-winged Teal Red-tailed Hawk American Kestrel Northern Harrier American Coot Killdeer Rock Dove Mourning Dove Yellow-billed Cuckoo Barn Owl Great Horned Owl Long-eared Owl Common Nighthawk Belted Kingfisher Downy Woodpecker Hairy Woodpecker Western Kingbird Eastern Kingbird Northern Rough-winged Swallow Bank Swallow Cliff Swallow Barn Swallow Blue Jay American Crow House Wren American Robin Gray Catbird Loggerhead Shrike European Starling Yellow Warbler Common Yellow-throat Blue Grosbeak Chipping Sparrow Lark Sparrow Grasshopper Sparrow Red-winged Blackbird Western Meadowlark Yellow-headed Blackbird Common Grackle Brown-headed Cowbird American Goldfinch House Sparrow
Species of Birds Considered to be Endemic to Specific Nebraska Regions include Northwestern Panhandle Endemics: White-throated Swift Lewis' Woodpecker Cordilleran Flycatcher Plumbeus Vireo Pinyon Jay Violet-green Swallow Brown Creeper Pygmy Nuthatch Mountain Bluebird Townsend's Solitaire Swainson's Thrush Sage Thrasher Western Tanager Yellow-rumped Warbler Brewer's Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco McCown's Longspur Chestnut-collared Longspur; Lower Missouri Valley Endemics: Red-shouldered Hawk Broad-winged Hawk Chuck-wills-widow White-eyed Vireo Carolina Wren Summer Tanager Northern Parula Cerulean Warbler Prothonotary Warbler Kentucky Warbler Yellow-throated Warbler; Southwestern Panhandle Endemics: Mountain Plover Cassin's Kingbird Cassin's Sparrow

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