North Platte National Wildlife Refuge
Mountain-Prairie Region

Bird List

Numerous species of waterfowl, shorebirds, and song birds find the refuge attractive during the spring and fall migration periods. Wintering populations vary widely depending on ice conditions.

Among the colorful songbirds that we enjoy each summer are “neotropical migrants.” These are birds that make a trip during our winter season to the tropical habitats found from southern Mexico to Argentina. Such birds nest in the U.S. and Canada, but spend most of the year in the neotropics - the Caribbean Islands, Mexican lowlands and Central and South America. The neotropical migrants are shown on this list with a darker background and are marked “(NT).”

If you would like a copy of this bird list in Adobe pdf format, click here (File size: 79KB). The print on this version is rather small, but the list does fit on two sheets of standard paper, which makes it easy to take into the field with you.

The following list of 228 species of birds have been observed on the refuge since 1975. Those marked with an asterisk (*) nest on the refuge. Those marked with a pound sign (#) are suspected to nest at least occasionally, but further confirmation is needed.

North Platte National Wildlife Refuge Bird Checklist


a = Abundant - Common species that is numerous
c = Common - Certain to be seen or heard in suitable habitat
u = Uncommon - Present, but not certain to be seen
r = Rare - seen only a few times during a season annually
o = Occasional - Seen at intervals of 2 to 5 years
x = Accidental - seen once or more since refuge establishment
* = Species that nests in the District

Darker background = Neotropical migrant

  (Mar - May)

  (Jun - Aug)

  (Sep - Nov)

  (Dec - Feb)

Herons | Waterfowl | Hawks | Rails | Shorebirds | Gulls | Owls | Woodpeckers.
Flycatchers | Swallows | Wrens | Thrushes | Warblers | Sparrows | Finches | Bottom
Common Name S s F W
Loons Legend
Pacific Loon     x  
Common Loon u r u x
Grebes Legend
Pied-billed Grebe # u u u  
Horned Grebe r   r  
Red-necked Grebe x      
Eared Grebe c u c x
Western Grebe c u c o
Clark's Grebe   x    
Pelicans Legend
American White Pelican u o u x
Cormorants Legend
Double-crested Cormorant * u c u  
Herons and Bitterns Legend
American Bittern r      
Great Blue Heron * u u u r
Great Egret x      
Cattle Egret x      
Green Heron     x  
Black-crowned Night Heron * r r o  
Yellow-crowned Night Heron   x    
Ibises Legend
White-faced Ibis x      
Vultures Legend
Turkey Vulture r r r  
Swans, Geese, and Ducks Legend
Trumpeter Swan     x  
Tundra Swan     o  
Greater White-fronted Goose     o  
Snow Goose u   r  
Ross's Goose o   o  
Canada Goose * c u a a
Wood Duck * u u u  
Gadwall c o u o
American Wigeon * c r u o
Mallard * a u a a
Blue-winged Teal * c r c  
Cinnamon Teal o      
Northern Shoveler c r u r
Northern Pintail c r u o
Green-winged Teal c   c r
Canvasback c   u r
Redhead a o c r
Ring-necked Duck c   u  
Lesser Scaup a o u  
Surf Scoter   x    
White-winged Scoter   x    
Long-tail Duck     x  
Bufflehead u   c o
Common Goldeneye u   c u
Barrow's Goldeneye o   o o
Hooded Merganser r   r o
Common Merganser a u a u
Red-breasted Merganser r   r o
Ruddy Duck c o u  
Hawks and Eagles Legend
Osprey o   o  
Bald Eagle * u r u c
Northern Harrier o o u r
Sharp-shinned Hawk r   o o
Cooper's Hawk     r  
Northern Goshawk x      
Red-shouldered Hawk x      
Broad-winged Hawk   (NT) o      
Harris's Hawk     x  
Swainson's Hawk   (NT) o r o  
Red-tailed Hawk * u u u u
Rough-legged Hawk r   u u
Ferruginous Hawk   o r  
Golden Eagle   r o  
Falcons Legend
American Kestrel * c c c u
Merlin   (NT)   o o  
Peregrine Falcon   (NT)   o    
Prairie Falcon   r    
Upland Game Birds Legend
Ring-necked Pheasant # u u u u
Sharp-tailed Grouse # o o o o
Wild Turkey u u u u
Northern Bobwhite o o o o
Rails and Coots Legend
Virginia Rail o   o  
Sora o o    
American Coot * c u c o
Cranes Legend
Sandhill Crane r   r  
Shorebirds Legend
Black-bellied Plover o   o  
Semipalmated Plover o o o  
Killdeer # c u c r
Black-necked Stilt x   x  
American Avocet r r r  
Greater Yellowlegs r r r  
Lesser Yellowlegs u o u  
Solitary Sandpiper r o o  
Willet r   o  
Spotted Sandpiper u r u  
Upland Sandpiper   (NT)   x    
Long-billed Curlew   (NT) o      
Marbled Godwit r o o  
Ruddy Turnstone   x    
Sanderling o r u  
Semipalmated Sandpiper r r r  
Western Sandpiper o   o  
Least Sandpiper o u u  
White-rumped Sandpiper r      
Baird's Sandpiper o u c  
Pectoral Sandpiper   u    
Dunlin     x  
Stilt Sandpiper r r r  
Buff-breasted Sandpiper   x    
Long-billed Dowitcher u   u  
Common Snipe r o r u
Wilson's Phalarope u r    
Red-necked Phalarope o   o  
Gulls and Terns Legend
Franklin's Gull u r c  
Bonaparte's Gull u   r r
Ring-billed Gull a u a u
California Gull x      
Herring Gull u   u o
Glaucous Gull x      
Black-legged Kittiwake   x    
Sabine's Gull   x    
Caspian Tern x      
Common Tern o o o  
Forster's Tern u o r  
Black Tern * r o o  
Doves Legend
Rock Dove r r r r
Mourning Dove * c a c o
Cuckoos and Roadrunners Legend
Yellow-billed Cuckoo   (NT)     r  
Owls Legend
Barn Owl x      
Eastern Screech Owl * u u u u
Great Horned Owl # u u u u
Nighthawks and Nightjars Legend
Common Nighthawk #   (NT) r r    
Common Poorwill o      
Kingfishers Legend
Belted Kingfisher # u u u u
Woodpeckers Legend
Red-Headed Woodpecker # r u u  
Red-naped Sapsucker   o    
Downy Woodpecker * u u u u
Hairy Woodpecker r o o r
Northern Flicker * c c c u
Flycatchers Legend
Olive-sided Flycatcher   o    
Western Wood Pewee #   (NT) r u o  
Willow Flycatcher o      
Least Flycatcher   (NT) r      
Cordilleran Flycatcher   (NT) x      
Say's Phoebe r o o  
Great Crested Flycatcher x      
Cassin's Kingbird   o    
Western Kingbird *   (NT) c c a  
Eastern Kingbird #   (NT) c u c  
Shrikes Legend
Loggerhead Shrike # r r    
Northern Shrike r   r r
Vireos Legend
Warbling Vireo *   (NT) u u u  
Red-eyed Vireo #   (NT) o r o  
Jays, Magpies and Crows Legend
Blue Jay * u u u u
Pinyon Jay   x    
Black-billed Magpie * c c c c
American Crow * o o o  
Larks Legend
Horned Lark * c u c c
Swallows Legend
Tree Swallow * u u o  
Violet-green Swallow   (NT) o      
Northern Rough-winged Swallow #   (NT) u u    
Bank Swallow   (NT) o o o  
Cliff Swallow *   (NT) c a    
Barn Swallow *   (NT) c c c  
Chickadees and Titmice Legend
Black-capped Chickadee * c c c c
Mountain Chickadee     x x
Nuthatches Legend
Red-breasted Nuthatch     o  
White-breasted Nuthatch # c c u  
Creepers Legend
Brown Creeper   o    
Wrens Legend
Rock Wren   o    
House Wren *   (NT) c c u  
Marsh Wren o   o  
Kinglets, Bluebirds, and Thrushes Legend
Golden-crowned Kinglet x      
Ruby-crowned Kinglet o   u  
Eastern Bluebird o      
Mountain Bluebird o   o  
Townsend's Solitaire o   o o
Veery x      
Swainson's Thrush   (NT) r      
Hermit Thrush   o    
American Robin * a c a a
Varied Thrush     x  
Mimics Legend
Gray Catbird x      
Sage Thrasher   x    
Brown Thrasher * u u r  
Starlings Legend
European Starling # c c c c
Pipits Legend
American Pipit u   u  
Waxwings Legend
Cedar Waxwing o o   o
Warblers Legend
Tennessee Warbler x      
Orange-crowned Warbler   (NT) u   u  
Yellow Warbler *   (NT) u u    
Yellow-rumped Warbler c   c  
Townsend's Warbler   x    
Blackpoll Warbler o   o  
American Redstart   (NT) o      
Ovenbird   x    
Common Yellowthroat #   (NT) u u    
Wilson's Warbler   (NT) o o r  
Yellow-breasted Chat   (NT) o      
Tanagers Legend
Western Tanager   (NT) o   o  
Sparrows, Buntings, and Grosbeaks Legend
Spotted Towhee o o o  
American Tree Sparrow c   c u
Chipping Sparrow   (NT) u r u  
Clay-colored Sparrow   (NT) r   r  
Field Sparrow o   o  
Vesper Sparrow r r r  
Lark Sparrow *   (NT) u c u  
Lark Bunting # r r r  
Savannah Sparrow r   r  
Baird's Sparrow     x  
Grasshopper Sparrow *   (NT)   r    
Song Sparrow * o   o o
Lincoln's Sparrow   (NT) o   r  
Swamp Sparrow       x
White-throated Sparrow o   o  
Harris' Sparrow   o    
White-crowned Sparrow u   u  
Dark-eyed Junco u   u u
McCown's Longspur   o    
Lapland Longspur   o o  
Chestnut-collared Longspur       o
Black-headed Grosbeak   (NT) o      
Blue Grosbeak   o    
Blackbirds and Orioles Legend
Bobolink   (NT)   o    
Red-winged Blackbird * u u u  
Western Meadowlark * a a a o
Yellow-headed Blackbird *   (NT) r u o  
Brewer's Blackbird   o    
Common Grackle * a a a  
Brown-headed Cowbird * u u    
Orchard Oriole *   (NT) u u u  
Baltimore Oriole r r    
Bullock's Oriole *   (NT) u u    
Finches Legend
Gray-crowned Rosy Finch       x
House Finch o o o o
Red Crossbill   x    
Pine Siskin o   o r
American Goldfinch # u u u r
Old World Sparrows Legend
House Sparrow * u u u u
Last updated: March 21, 2011