Important Bird Areas

Missouri National Recreational River

Site Description: This Important Bird Area is a 59-mile section of the Missouri River starting at Gavins Point Dam on the eastern edge of Lewis and Clark Lake stretching to Ponca, Nebraska. It covers over 33,000 acres, and its wide, meandering channel, shifting sandbars, and secondary channels contain some of the last forested floodplain and floodplain wetland habitats on the River. The Nebraska side of the river ranges from nearly level floodplain to steep, tree-covered bluffs. Riverbanks vary from flat, sandy beaches to vertical faces 10 to 15 feet high. This landscape has backwater marshes, open sandbars, and cottonwood forests.

Ornithological Summary: This section is remarkable for the number of Least Terns and Piping Plovers using the sandbars and river areas. Biologists also report many other species of waterbirds use the river section, such as Snow and Canada Geese, Great Blue Herons, Belted Kingfishers, and there are as many as six Bald Eagle nests on this same river section.


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.

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