April 21, 2023

May is Nebraska Bird Month; NRDs and Nebraska Game & Parks Commission (NGPC) are encouraging state residents to get outside and take in all the different kinds of birds that call Nebraska home or are passing through. Within the borders of Nebraska, there is an opportunity to view more than 400 species of birds, with a record of over 454 different kinds of birds setting foot or taking flight in Nebraska, according to the Nebraska Ornithologists Union. Nebraska is on the southern edge of nesting grounds for northern species and on the northern edge for southern breeding species.

If you are interested in birding, visit NGPC’s Nebraska Birding Guide website to learn how to start birding and where to go. When planning your trip, whether it be a short excursion or a multi-day outing, use Nebraska Birding Guide’s interactive map to find ecological regions or to identify notable bird species to help you decide where to bird. The equipment recommended to get started is binoculars, a spotting scope, and field guides.   

There are hundreds of different species of birds, and they can be hard to identify. Start by observing size, shape, and coloration. Then, once you have the species of bird identified by its physical characteristics, you can observe the bird’s song or call, which will help you locate the bird while birding. As you are birding, if you find a bird that you don’t recognize, refer to your birding field guide to identify the species.

Lastly, remember to be respectful, don’t stress the birds, leave nests alone, respect other birders, and respect property boundaries. Most importantly, pack out what you packed in.

During Nebraska Bird Month, a new statewide birding competition is being held - The Nebraska Birding Bowl. This fun and FREE birding competition is for all skill levels, from beginning birders, to backyard birders, to competitive birders. Register for this event, go bird, and win prizes, including a chance at a $200 cash prize! More details are found on the Nebraska Birding Guide’s website.

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