Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area
This area consists of ridge and canyon habitats, covered mostly by pines and junipers. Pygmy Nuthatches nest here and Violet-green Swallows are fairly common. Mountain and Eastern Bluebirds nest in the birdhouses along the SRA roads and boundaries. Several raptors, such as Golden Eagles, Prairie Falcons and several buteos are good possibilities. Bird feeders and a pond behind the nature center attract a wide variety of birds, especially in winter when there can be several hundred Pine Siskins at the feeders as well as a variety of Dark-eyed Junco subspecies including the white-winged and pink-sided subspecies. Depending on drought, pine beetle infestations, or forest fires in the Rockies, some western species have occurred here, such as the Clark’s Nutcracker, Steller’s Jay, and Mountain Chickadee.
Where to go in the park
Begin at the Wildcat Hills Nature Center to view the bird feeders and ecological exhibits. Enjoy close looks of birds coming to the feeders from the large windows of the nature center or on the back deck. Red Crossbills and Pine Siskins are regular at the feeders and in the pine forests. Lesser Goldfinches occasionally show up at the feeders. From here take the 2-mile nature trail over the rugged topography. Listen for nuthatches and crossbills along the trail and look for wildlife tracks in snow or muddy areas.
210615 Hwy 71, Gering, NE 69341
Nature center, bathrooms, hiking trails, camping