Spring Migration: During March, Nebraska hosts one of the most spectacular examples of migration, the Sandhill Crane, along the Platte River between Grand Island and Lexington. The waterfowl migration is also an exciting natural event, particularly the concentrations of a half million Snow Geese and 100,000 Greater White-fronted Geese in the Rainwater Basins.
Fall Migration: Fall migration begins in July with shorebirds (numbers peak in August). Hawk migration begins in mid-September and continues through October. Warbler migration begins in late August and peaks in early September.
The following calendar includes information about bird migration. Data is included for the months of peak migration: March, April, May, September, October, November. Please note that arrival times can be affected by weather patterns.
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October Bird Migration
The following is a partial list of birds that migrate through our area and approximate times to see them. Arrival times can be affected by weather patterns.
- Grebes - Western, Horned & Eared (Lake Manawa, Iowa; Papio Damsite Lakes - Douglas & Sarpy Counties)
- Raptors: Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Coopers's Hawk, Northern Goshawk, Red-tailed Hawk (Hitchcock Nature Area, Iowa; Neale Woods, Omaha)
- Passerines: Hermit Thrush, Winter Wren (Fontenelle Forest, Bellevue)
- American Pipit (Jack Sinn WMA, Lancaster County)
- Ruby-crowned, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-rumped Warbler (Papio Damsite Lakes - Douglas & Sarpy Counties; parks; yards)
- LeConte's Sparrow, Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow (rare) (Jack Sinn WMA, Lancaster County)
- Fox, Lincoln's, Swamp, Whit-throated, White-crowned, Harris Sparrows, Dark-eyed Junco, Purple Finch (Fontenelle Forest, Bellevue; Neale Woods, Omaha; Papio Damsite Lakes - Douglas & Sarpy Counties; Elmwood Park, Omaha)
- Double-crested Cormorant (Papio Damsite Lakes - Douglas & Sarpy Counties; Lake Manawa, Iowa)
Early - Mid Month
- Osprey (Hitchcock Nature Area, Iowa; area lakes)
- Swainson's Hawk, American Kestrel (Hitchcock Nature Area, Iowa)
- Franklin's Gull (Lake Manawa, Iowa (large numbers))
- Orange-crowned, Nashville, Pine Warblers (Fontenelle Forest, Bellevue; Neale Woods, Omaha; Elmwood Park, Omaha)
Mid - Late Month
- Common Loon, Horned Grebe (Lake Manawa, Iowa; Papio Damsite Lakes - Douglas & Sarpy Counties)
- Sabine's Gull (Branched Oak & Pawnee Lakes, Lancaster County)
- Ducks and Geese (Area Lakes)
- Bonaparte's Gull (Cunningham Lake, Omaha; Lake Manawa, Iowa)
- Saw Whet Owl (rare) (Pine and Cedar Groves)
- American Tree Sparrow (Papio Damsite Lakes - Douglas & Sarpy Counties; rural roadsides)