The Rainwater Basin is critical habitat for migratory birds. It provides a stopover between wintering grounds and nesting grounds for over 7 million ducks, geese, cranes and other waterbirds. The nearby fields provide waste grain (mainly corn left in the field from the previous fall harvest) and weed seeds for the birds. The marshes, however, are the safe resting areas for these birds which are important factors during an extended migration
South of the Big Bend Reach of the Platte River
Ducks, geese, raptors, eagles.
The 17-county Rainwater Basin, which lies south of the Platte River, once contained 4,000 marshes, totaling about 94,000 acres. The Basin's wetlands have been altered so that only about 10 percent remain. The Conservancy has helped protect 1,765 acres, currently under the management of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Another 466 acres are under the management of the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission
The Nebraska Chapter takes pride in its work, and in the good working relationships with other agencies and individuals to accomplish projects. A cooperative project in the Rainwater Basin is a prime example. The Conservancy is a partner in the Rainwater Basin Joint Venture, a group of public agencies, private organizations and landowners working to protect 10,000 acres of still-intact wetlands and to restore or create an additional 15,000 acres of wetlands.