Important Bird Areas

North Platte National Wildlife Refuge

Site Description: The North Platte NWR was established in 1916 as a preserve and breeding ground for native birds in the Nebraska panhandle. The Refuge is superimposed over four Bureau of Reclamation irrigation projects: Lake Minatare, Winters Creek Lake, Lake Alice, and Stateline Island.

Ornithological Summary: The Refuge checklist is 228 species long, with 42 known nesters and 20 additional possible breeders. The American Bird Conservancy designated Lake Minatare as a “globally significant” wintering area for waterfowl. The Winters Creek Lake unit is 350 acres of water with accompanying 349 acres of grass/scrub and trees, and in the winter one can see every species of waterfowl in the area. Species of concern include Long-billed Curlew, Red-headed Woodpecker, Dickcissel, and Northern Harrier. Lake Alice is 1,360 acres in size and its low fall water levels providing excellent habitat for thousands of shorebirds. It also has a breeding Bald Eagle pair, and attracts migrating Sandhill Cranes and nesting Lark 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.

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