Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Breeding Birds of the Platte River Valley
Craig A. Faanes, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Gary R. Lingle, Platte River Whooping Crane Trust
The Platte River Valley in central Nebraska is known throughout North America
for its concentrations of sandhill cranes and waterfowl during spring migration.
Fully three-quarters of the world's population of lesser sandhill cranes, nearly
all of the Central Flyway population of greater white-fronted goose, and over
one million Canada geese spend most of the period from mid-February to early
April along the Platte River. The yearly spectacle makes the Platte River a
The main objective of this study was to determine the numbers and kinds
of bird species nesting in the area, their populations, habitat preferences,
and the geographical distribution of each species across the area. Included
are information about species status (including nests, fledglings, and nesting
attempts), distribution, habitat use during the breeding season, the effect
of habitat alteration on species distribution and abundance.
This resource should be cited as:
Faanes, Craig A. and Gary R. Lingle. 1995. Breeding birds of the Platte River
Valley of Nebraska. Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research
Center Online. http://www.npwrc.usgs.govindex.htm
- Methods and Terminology
- Species Accounts (Includes maps)
- Hypothetical Species
- The Physical Setting
- Habitats for Breeding Birds
- Aquatic Habitats
- Man-made Habitats
- Changes in Habitat Quality
- Summary of Habitat Changes
- Summary of Impacts
- Biogeographic Distribution of Breeding Birds
- Populations of Breeding Birds
- Table 1 -- Population densities (pairs/km2) and
diversity of breeding species among major habitat types in the Platte River
- Table 2 -- Areal extent (in ha) of various land
uses by county in the Platte River Valley.
- Table 3 -- Changes in area (in ha) of channel
and vegetation between 1938 and 1982 at 3 locations of the Big Bend reach
of the Platte River compared with 1860. Data from Currier et al. (1985)
- Table 4 -- Effects of wooded vegetation encroachment
on abundance and distribution of various species ofbirds breeding in the
Platte River Valley.
- Table 5 -- Zoogeographic distribution of breeding
birds in the Platte River Valley. Data adapted from Johnsgard (1979).
- Table 6 -- Differences in relative abundances
among selected breeding birds in the Platte River Valley recorded on Breeding
Bird Survey routes. Refer to Figure 4 for route locations.
- Table 7 -- Mean breeding populations of major
bird families or subfamily, 1979-80.
- Table 8 -- Population estimates among the most
numerous breeding bird species in the Platte River valley.
Note: The authors may be contacted at the following addresses:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
703-358-2161 x 5492
Mr. Gary R. Lingle
Univ of Nebr Cooperative Extension
1400 E 34 St, Kearney, NE 68847-3998
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(1.1M) -- Breeding Birds of the Platte River Valley of Nebraska
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