Nebraska Ornithologists' Union


Date of this Version



Brogie & Mossman, "Spring and Summer Birds of the Niobrara Valley Preserve Area, Nebraska: An Annotated Checklist," from Nebraska Bird Review (June 1983) 51(2).


Copyright 1983, Nebraska Ornithologists' Union. Used by permission.


The Niobrara Valley Preserve occupies an area of approximately 22,000 ha in north-central Nebraska and includes parts of Brown, Cherry, and Keya Paha counties. This area was purchased in 1980 by the Nature Conservancy because of the unique co-occurrence of habitat types such as ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forest, eastern deciduous forest, northern forest (represented by white birch, Betula papyrifera), mixed grass prairie, sandhills prairie, and tallgrass prairie all existing within a proximity of 1.5-3 km.

This confluence of habitat types, in conjunction with the area's central geographic setting, creates a significant zone of sympatry among eastern, western, northern, and southern bird species. Limited research on species' occurrence and hybridization has been conducted in the Niobrara Valley area (Johnsgard 1979; Short 1961, 1965a, 1965b, 1966; Sibley & Short 1964; Sibley and West 1959) although no detailed study of the region's avifauna has occurred.