Brown thrasher

Birding the Midwest and the Great Plains

From the Great Plains to the Great Lakes, the birding in the center of North America is sensational all year long. Think great grey owls in Minnesota in winter, Kirtland’s warblers in the spring in Michigan, and cerulean warblers in the Ohio River Valley in summer. Don’t forget the uncountable sandhill cranes of Nebraska’s Platte River in spring. This is where you’ll hear tslick before you see a Henslow’s sparrow, and chase a Nelson’s sparrow through the prairies and potholes of North Dakota. This region is your best bet for yellow rail, greater prairie chicken, gray partridge, and migrating buff-breasted sandpiper. Consider that both the Central and the Mississippi Flyways pass through this region, and imagine the birds that use those corridors during spring and fall migration.