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AUDUBON SOCIETY of OMAHA BIRDING AREAS
This list does not cover all parks and wildlife areas in the Omaha, Nebraska vicinity. It was designed by the Audubon Society of Omaha to help newcomers find some of the best birding areas with a minimum of fuss. The list is comprised of our favorite local birding areas.
If you have additions or would like to make corrections to this list, please contact the Audubon Society of Omaha at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pottowatamie County Nature Areas, IA (including Hitchcock Nature Area)
FONTENELLE FOREST: (Private, Entrance fee) 1111 Bellevue Blvd, N. Bellevue, NE 731-3140. 1300 Acres, Mature upland forest, Flood Plains, Hidden lake, Marsh, Hills. Missouri River. Migrating warblers and woodland nesting birds, wildflowers, mushrooms.
NEALE WOODS: (Private, Entrance fee) 14323 Edith Marie Ave., Omaha, NE 453-5615. 222 Acres, Mature upland forest, Re-established prairies, Astronomy classes.
CUNNINGHAM LAKE, Site 11: (Public, No fee) 8305 Rainwood Rd, Omaha, NE 444-4628. S. of Hwy 96-Fishing, Boating, Recreation. N. of Hwy 36, N. and S. of Pawnee Rd-Birding, Nature Trails, Migrating waterfowl, Shorebirds.
STANDING BEAR LAKE, Site 16: (Public, No fee) 12425 Fort St., Omaha, NE 444-4676. Picnicking, Hiking, Fishing, Boating, Nature Area W. and N. of Lake. Migrating waterfowl, Shorebirds.
WEHRSPANN LAKE, Site 20 CHALCO HILLS RECREATIONAL AREA: (Public, No fee) Papio-Missouri Natural Resources District. 8901 S.154th St.1 Mile N. 1 Mile W. of Jct I-80 and Nebraska 50. Picnicking, Fishing, Boating, Several Miles of Nature Trails. Migrating waterfowl, shorebirds.
ZORINSKY LAKE, Site 18: (Public, No fee) Omaha, NE Picnicking, Fishing, Boating, Hiking, Nature areas including a native prairie.
N.P. DODGE PARK: (Public, No fee) 12000 N. River Rd, Omaha, NE Flood plain hiking to the Missouri River (Look for horse trails at the far NE end of park- past tennis courts and N. of fishing ponds behind boat marina.) Lowland forest, Migrant passerines.
HUMMEL PARK: (Public, No fee) N. of Dodge Park, Omaha, NE 444-4672. Mature forest, Hills, Level hiking path off Ponca Rd on N. edge of park. Good for migrants.
CARTER LAKE: (Public, No fee) W. of Eppley Airfield. 444-4674. W of Missouri River. Picnicking, Hiking, Fishing, Boating. Unusual water birds sometimes seen.
LAKE MANAWA: (Public, No fee) Off of L Street (Hwy 275),1 Mi S. IA 182, Council Bluffs, IA (712) 336-0220 Bicycle trails, Fishing, Boating, snow mobiling, Bluebirds on hiking trails, Migratory waterfowl, Gulls, Peenting ground for woodcock.
DESOTO BEND NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE: (Public, fee) Missouri Valley, IA 4324 Acres, Missouri River oxbow lake and flood plain forest. Fishing, Hiking, Picnicking, Canoeing. Large concentrations of Snow Geese.
SCHRAMM STATE PARK: (Public, park permit required) 8 Miles S. of I-80. Exit 432 Via NE if3l. Alternate route: 6 Miles W. of the junction of Hwys 31 and 50. 331 acres, Mature forest and gardens. Hiking, Picnicking. Ak-sar-ben aquarium, Migrant passerines, Butterflies.
PLATTE RIVER STATE PARK: (Public, Park permit required) 2.5 Miles S. of Louisville, NE S-13 E. Wooded river bluffs, Observation tower, Hiking, Picnicking, Paddleboats.
INDIAN CAVE STATE PARK (Not shown on map): (Public, Park permit required) SE Nebraska along Missouri river. 2800 acres, Birding, Hiking in Various habitats, Camping.Woodland nesting birds. Southern flora. Butterflies.
METROPOLITAN UTILITY DISTRICT PLATTE RIVER WATER TREATMENT PLANT: (Private, Restricted access, sign-in required) 4001 LaPlatte Rd, Bellevue, NE. Contact Don Ryan 44B-8088 in advance. Birding, Platte River, Migratory waterfowl, Shorebirds.
LOESS HILLS AREAS: (Private, scenic drives) Good area between Missouri Valley and Crescent, IA, also N. of Crescent on Hwy 183 and County Rd 36. Rolling hills, Occasional prairies. Woodland birds, turkey.
SCHILLING WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA: (Public, No fee) E. of Plattsmouth, NE. U.S. 34. 1485 Acres, Confluence of Missouri and Platte Rivers, Picnicking, Fishing. Waterfowl.
OFFUTT AFB BASE LAKE: (Military only, No (fee) East of Hancock Street, Bellevue, NE. No wake boating, Fishing, Picnics, Playground, Riding stables. Kingfishers, Migratory waterfowl.
PLATTE RIVER BOAT RAMP: (Public, No fee), At Intersection of Hwy 50 and Platte River. Free parking for boaters and others.
WAUBONSIE STATE PARK: (Public, No fee) 7 Mi SW Sidney, IA IA239-2 (712)-382-2788. Hiking, Picnicking, Camping, Bridle trails. 1200 acres, woodlands and loess prairie. Nesting woodland birds, Butterflies, Southern flora
PREPARATION CANYON STATE PARK: (Not shown on map): (Public, No fee) N. of Pisgah, IA, off Hwy 183. (712) 423-2829 Hiking, Picnicking, Good birding. Pasque flowers early spring.
SAWMILL HOLLOW NAT. AREA: (Public, No fee) N. of Missouri Valley, IA off Hwy 183. Hiking, Good birding area.
WABASH TRACE NATURE TRAIL: (Public, No fee) Converted Railroad bed. Trailhead starts behind Central High School, Council Bluffs, IA. Runs 63 miles from Council Bluffs IA, to Blanchard, IA. Bicycling, Hiking. Beautiful Iowa countryside.
PAPIO TRAIL: (Public, No fee) Hwy 370 and Payne Dr. Bellevue, NE. 5 Mi. cement trail built atop retaining wall. Runs parallel to Missouri River.
RIVERTON WATERFOWL REFUGE: (Public, No fee) West of Riverton, W off Hwy 42 Migratory waterfowl, Large concentration of shorebirds.
BRANCHED OAK LAKE: (Public, Park permit) Near Lincoln, NE 3795 acres, Hiking, Fishing. Boating. Migrating waterfowl, Some winters: snow buntings and snowy owls.
NINE-MILE PRAIRIE: (Public, No fee ) NW of Lincoln Nebraska.1 Mi. W. of NW 48th and W. Fletcher Ave. This tall grass prairie is known for the research done by University of Nebraska at Lincoln personnel. 230 acres native prairie. Prairie Flowers, bobolinks, butterflies.
BURCHARD LAKE WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA (Not shown on map): (Public, No fee) NW of Pawnee City, near Burchard, NE. 560 acres, Camping, Observation blinds. Prairie chicken booming ground.
PRAIRIE ROSE STATE PARK: (Public, No Fe Mi. E. 3 Mi. S. Harlan, IA. (712) 7T3-2701 Hiking, Camping, Boating, Snow mobiling.
GIFFORD POINT: (Public, No fee) Two Mi. E. of Bellevue Blvd. N. on Gifford Rd. Bellevue, NE. (adjacent to Fontenelle Forest) 1300 Acres, Missouri River floodplain forest, Trails.
Two Rivers SRA/WMA: (Public, Park permit) 6 Mi. S.,1 Mi. W. of Valley, NE. 312 Acres, Platte River floodplain forest, Sandbars in the Platte have nesting least terns and piping plovers.
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