Site Description: In 1935, this 72,000-acre complex was established 25 miles south of Valentine as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. The Refuge is a showcase for the representative habitat of the Sandhills in northcentral Nebraska, an attractive mixture of native shortgrass prairie and numerous wetlands, wet meadows, lakes, and marshes.
Ornithological Summary: The current bird list at the Refuge numbers 270 species; 108 of them have been recorded nesting. May, September, and October offer good opportunities for observing a large variety of migrating birds. The Refuge’s many water features attract large numbers of shorebirds, waterfowl, colonial waterbirds, and wetland specialists. Trumpeter Swans, American Bitterns, Western Grebes, and many species of ducks remain for the summer to raise broods. Hundreds of American White Pelicans and Double-crested Cormorants can be seen during the migration season. The upland prairies support many different grassland-dependent species, such as Greater Prairie-Chickens, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Upland Sandpipers, Dickcissels, and Grasshopper Sparrows.
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.