Spring Bird Watching

Spring is here and so are opportunities to view feathered guests as they pass through Nebraska during their annual spring migration. Read on for opportunities to view migrating birds in Nebraska.

Marsh Madness

Ponca State Park
Every Saturday in March

Enjoy the wonders of the spring bird migration from scenic Ponca State Park during Marsh Madness.

Marsh Madness is a migratory celebration held each weekend in March at Ponca. The park’s location adjacent to the Missouri River presents a significant flyway that serves as the feeding, breeding and staging ground for migratory birds.

Ponca SP is listed as an “Important Bird Area” by the National Audubon Society, with nearly 300 bird species sighted and more than 70 of those breeding in the area. More than 20 waterfowl species have been observed from the park’s blinds.

Guided and unguided bird tours are available. Guided sunrise and sunset waterfowl blind viewings are scheduled every Saturday in March, but space is limited. Visit our calendar for more information on Marsh Madness events.

Learn more about Ponca State Park
Learn more about watching wildlife

Sandhill crane migration

Fort Kearny State Historical Park
March 3 through April 9, 2018

Sandhill crane enthusiasts are invited to visit Fort Kearny State Historical Park and State Recreation Area to enjoy the spring migration.

The visitor center will open daily March 3 – April 9, 2017 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Staff will answer questions and direct visitors to viewing areas.

One popular viewing location is the hike-bike bridge over the Platte River at the recreation area. The bridge is one-third mile from the parking area. The best viewing times are a half hour before sunrise and sunset.

The cost is $2 per adult and a park entry permit is required. Call the park for more information at 308-865-5305. Fort Kearny is located southeast of Kearney.

Learn more about Fort Kearny State Historical Park
Learn more about the great migration

Other bird watching opportunities

State parks and recreation areas across Nebraska offer a wide variety of bird viewing opportunities throughout the year. Visit the Birding by Park page on our website to find a park with bird viewing opportunities near you.

Learn more