Birds to watch for each month:

Bald Eagle

January:

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagles winter in Nebraska and may occur anywhere near rivers in the Chicken Dance Trail region, but tend to concentrate around reservoirs where ducks and geese - a popular meal for eagles - are wintering. Look for them especially at Johnson Lake, Harlan County, Medicine Creek, Red Willow, and Swanson Reservoirs.

Mountain Bluebird

February:

Mountain Bluebird

A common sight in ranchland and other open areas of the Chicken Dance Trail, the male Mountain Bluebird is a breathtaking brilliant sky blue. It prefers more open havitats and scattered trees. Look for them in the Loess Canyon region.

Sandhill, Whooping Crane

March:

Sandhill, Whooping Crane

Sandhill Cranes gather in huge numbers on the Platte River at night and in cornfields throughout the Rainwater Basin region of the Chicken Dance Trail by day. Whooping Cranes, although endangered, are frequently seen in marshy regions such as the Funk Lagoon in the Rainwater Basin.

Greater Prairie Chicken

April:

Greater Prairie Chicken

The Chicken Dance Trail is named for the the unique mating dance of this colorful species. Look for them near dawn in small groups on the leks of native prairie habitat; listen for the deep "boom" of their mating calls. The Republican River, Sandsage Prairie and Loess Canyons sections of the Chicken Dance Trail will be especially productive.

Bell's Vireo

May

Bell's Vireo

Although drably colored and indistinctly marked, the distinctive "squeaky clean" song of the Bell's Vireo can be heard coming from the dense shrubbery vegetation on all the adventures of the Chicken Dance Trail.

Lark Bunting

June:

Lark Bunting

Catch the bright breeding plumage of the Lark Bunting in the Sandsage Prairie region of the Chicken Dance Trail. Watch the male flying up over the nesting area, singing his song, then descending to declare ownership of a territory.

Burrowing Owl

July:

Burrowing Owl

True to its name, the Burrowing Owl often nests in a hold in the ground provided by prairie dogs, coyotes or badgers. It is most active in the morning and evening, hunting for insects during the day and mammals at night. Look for it especially in the Sandsage Prairie and Loess Canyons of the Chicken Dance Trail.

Upland Sandpiper

August:

Upland Sandpiper

A shorebird of grasslands, not shores, the Upland Sandpiper inhabits native prairie and dry, open grassland and croplands throughout the Chicken Dance Trail region of Nebraska.

White-faced Ibis

September:

White-faced Ibis

Look for this dark wading bird with a long, down-curved bill near shallow water and sloughs. Look especially in the Republican River and Rainwater Basin regions of the Chicken Dance Trail.

Swainson's Hawk

October:

Swainson's Hawk

October is hawk season on the Chicken Dance Trail and Swainson's Hawk is among many hawk species that migrate south during the month. In flight, look for dark flight feathers contrasting with a pale inner wing near open grasslands throughout the Chicken Dance Trail Region.

Townsend's Solitaire

November:

Townsend's Solitaire

Bald Eagles winter in Nebraska and may occur anywhere near rivers in the Chicken Dance Trail region, but tend to concentrate around reservoirs where ducks and geese - a popular meal for eagles - are wintering. Look for them especially at Johnson Lake, Harlan County, Medicine Creek, Red Willow, and Swanson Reservoirs.

Snow Bunting

December:

Snow Bunting

Bald Eagles winter in Nebraska and may occur anywhere near rivers in the Chicken Dance Trail region, but tend to concentrate around reservoirs where ducks and geese - a popular meal for eagles - are wintering. Look for them especially at Johnson Lake, Harlan County, Medicine Creek, Red Willow, and Swanson Reservoirs.

This site made possible by

Thank You

to the following counties and communities for their support:

  • Frontier
  • Harlan
  • Phelps
  • Red Willow
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