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This annotated list of the birds of Nebraska grew gradually out of research associated with my writing of the Birds of the Great Plains: Breeding Species and Their Distribution (Johnsgard, 1979a). It expands and updates an earlier version that was published in 2013 by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries DigitalCommons’ Zea Books (Johnsgard, 2013a). It has been updated and modified in its current revision to conform with the most recent (2017) major revision of the American Ornithologists’ Society’s Checklist of North American Birds (Chesser et al., 2017). It has also been modified in its current revision to conform very closely to the most recent “Official List of the Birds of Nebraska” by the Nebraska Ornithologists’ Union (Gubanyi, 1997, and later supplements in the Nebraska Bird Review, to 84:138–150). The NOU’s official state list of birds (461 species as of 2017) is based on actual specimen evidence or some other convincing basis of each species’ proven occurrence in the state. That list includes 337 “regular” species, 29 “casual” species, 90 “accidental” species, and 5 extinct or extirpated species. In this edition I have classified 368 of the 461 species of Nebraska birds as ranging in relative frequency of occurrence as “abundant” to “rare.” There are also 61 species considered to be of “accidental” occurrence, having been reliably reported in Nebraska no more than five times, 20 that are considered “extremely rare” or “very rare,” if reported from six to 25 times. There are also three extinct, four extirpated, and five unsuccessfully introduced species. Thirteen hypothetical species of dubious origin or identification are mentioned parenthetically. The text includes more than 123,000 words, nearly 200 literature references, and 19 pages of drawings and maps.



Publication Date



Zea Books


Lincoln, Nebraska


bird, birding, ornithology, Great Plains, Nebraska


Life Sciences | Ornithology | Poultry or Avian Science


Copyright 2018 Paul A. Johnsgard

The Birds of Nebraska