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If you ask residents and visitors about the Spring bird migration through the Platte River Valley of central Nebraska, undoubtedly they will speak about the Sandhill Crane. However, the migration of the 10 million ducks and geese that pass through Central Nebraska is an equally impressive sight to behold. There are a number of species of ducks and geese that move through the area, including but not limited to, Snow Geese, Canadian Geese, Mallard, Pintail, and Wood Duck.

Central Nebraska's landscape is naturally suited for waterfowl, we are lucky to have plenty of shallow water sources and adjacent wetlands that they ducks and geese prefer. And, much like the cranes, corn comprises a large percentage of the diet of ducks and geese migrating through our area. This makes their appearances in and near cornfields assured.

And if you prefer bird hunting instead of bird watching, unlike Sandhill Cranes, ducks and geese are game birds in Nebraska. Please see the Hall County Clerk's Office for exact dates for the duck and geese hunting seasons and the permits required, regulations differ per location and species, in general the seasons begin in October and end in November through January.
One notable exception the normal waterfowl hunting season is an additional season meant to control the growing light goose population (White and Blue-Phase Snow Geese, Ross' Geese). Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has set a no limit season for light geese from February 1 through April 16. There are rules governing this as well as the other hunting seasons, please see the Hall County Clerk's office for full information.

Geese Photos: ©Mark Urwiller