Site Description: Ponca State Park consists of heavily forested bluffs along the western banks of the Missouri River and mixed-prairie grasslands in its 2,200 acres. The woods mostly contain black oak with basswood, elm, walnut, and hackberry. It is adjacent to another IBA, the Missouri National Recreational River, and recently it was named as part of the Lewis and Clark Historical Trail.
Ornithological Summary: A recent restoration project on the Missouri River by the Corps of Engineers has provided needed sandbar habitat for nesting Interior Least Terns and Piping Plovers, with the potential added benefit of enhancing waterfowl and shorebird numbers as well. On land, the woods support many nesting species such as Whip-poor-will and Scarlet Tanager, while Dickcissels nest in the grasslands. There is an active Bald Eagle nest on site and dozens of Bald Eagles have been spotted on migration.
For more information, call or write Kevin Poague, Important Bird Areas Coordinator, Audubon Nebraska, P.O. Box 117, 11700 SW 100th Street, Denton, NE 68339 402-797-2301, Fax: 402-797-2304.