11 Exciting Animals in Nebraska We Have Seen on Camping Trips!

Red Foxes Nebraska wildlife camping
Discover 11 exciting animals in Nebraska encountered during camping adventures! From bald eagles to elusive bobcats, explore Nebraska's wild side.

Are you ready to embark on a wild adventure through the heart of Nebraska? If you’re a nature enthusiast or just curious about the incredible wildlife that calls this state home, you’re in for a treat!

Join us as we journey through the great outdoors on camping trips and share our encounters with some of the most exciting animals in Nebraska.

From majestic bald eagles soaring high above to elusive bobcats prowling in the shadows, this is your chance to get up close and personal with the fascinating creatures that make Nebraska their playground.

So, grab your binoculars, pack your sense of wonder, and let’s dive into the untamed beauty of the Cornhusker State!

The majestic bald eagle is Nebraska’s state bird, and there’s no better place to see them than while camping in the great outdoors! We were lucky enough to spot several bald eagles during our trip, including a nest with two chicks.

Bald Eagles Nebraska wildlife camping

Bald eagles are large birds of prey with a wingspan of up to 7 feet. They are easily recognizable by their white heads and tails, which contrast sharply with their dark brown bodies. Bald eagles are found near large bodies of water where they can hunt for fish, their primary food source.

In Nebraska, bald eagles can be found along the Missouri River and its tributaries, as well as lakes and reservoirs such as Merritt Reservoir and Lake McConaughy. With a little patience and luck, you too can spot these magnificent birds while camping in Nebraska!

Mule Deer

Mule Deer Nebraska wildlife camping

Mule deer are one of the most popular animals to see while camping in Nebraska. These majestic creatures are often seen grazing in meadows or along forest edges. Mule deer get their name from their large ears, which are similar to those of a mule. Male mule deer, or bucks, grow antlers each year. The size of a buck’s antlers is a good indication of its health and age. Mule deer can live up to 20 years in the wild.


We saw plenty of coyotes while camping in Nebraska! They were most active at night, but we saw a few during the day. We even heard them howling on occasion. They were a bit shy, but still curious about us.

Coyotes Nebraska wildlife camping

Coyotes are part of the canine family, and they are incredibly adaptable animals. They can survive in almost any environment, and they have an amazing sense of smell and incredible hearing. Coyotes are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals, including mice, rabbits, insects, fruits, berries, snakes, and even carrion (dead animal matter). 

In some areas, coyotes form packs to hunt larger prey such as deer or wild pigs. They also travel in pairs or alone to find food. Coyotes also use their keen intelligence to outwit humans when it comes to finding food sources like garbage or pet food left outdoors. 

Coyotes play an important role in the ecosystem by controlling rodent populations. However, they can also be a nuisance for humans if they become too accustomed to living near people or if they become aggressive towards pets or livestock. It is important for us to take steps to protect our property from coyotes by not leaving out any edible items that could attract them. 

Red Foxes

In Nebraska, we were excited to see red foxes! These beautiful animals are usually shy, but we were able to get close enough for some great pictures. We also saw them hunting and playing, which was really neat to watch.

Red Foxes Nebraska wildlife camping

Red foxes are native to Nebraska and are found in many areas throughout the state. They live in forests, fields, and even urban areas. They feed on small mammals, birds, and insects.

Red foxes have a beautiful reddish-brown coat with a white underside and black-tipped ears. They are usually solitary animals but may form small family groups during the breeding season. 

Overall, it was an amazing experience watching these beautiful creatures! They were definitely one of the highlights of our trip to Nebraska.


We were surprised to see a Bobcat walking through our campsite early one morning! We quickly grabbed our camera and snapped some photos before it ran off into the woods. It was a beautiful animal and we were so excited to have seen it up close!

Bobcat Nebraska wildlife camping

Bobcats are solitary, nocturnal animals that live in forests, mountains, and deserts. They typically hunt small mammals such as rabbits and squirrels. Bobcats are also fierce predators and have been known to take down larger prey such as deer and even coyotes!

Bobcats have an unmistakable appearance with their reddish-brown fur and distinctive pattern of black spots on their coat. They are usually between two and three feet long and can weigh up to 18 pounds. Bobcats also have tufts of fur on the tips of their ears that help them detect sound better while hunting in the darkness of night.

White-Tailed Deer

The white-tailed deer is the most common deer in North America, and one of the most popular game animals. They range from southern Canada to central Mexico and can be found in most of the United States. The white-tailed deer get their name from the long white fur on their tail that they raise when they are alarmed or excited.

White-tailed deer are herbivores and eat a variety of plants including grasses, leaves, bark, twigs, nuts, and fruits. They have a keen sense of smell and hearing and use their white tails to alert other deer to potential danger. They live in groups called herds that are made up of female and young deer, while adult males will usually live alone or with a few other males.

White-tailed deer are active year-round but they will become less active during the winter months as food becomes scarce. For protection from predators, they will bed down in thick brush or forested areas during the day and feed at night. They can run up to 30 miles an hour and swim long distances to escape predators.

The white-tailed deer is an important species for many ecosystems across North America as it provides food for many predators like wolves, bobcats and eagles. It is also a popular game animal for hunters due to its large size and abundance throughout much of its range.

Great Horned Owls

There are few things as exciting as seeing a wild animal in its natural habitat. We were lucky enough to see several different types of animals while camping in Nebraska, including a great horned owl.

Great Horned Owls Nebraska wildlife camping

Great horned owls are one of the largest owl species in North America. They have large, powerful talons and can take down prey much larger than themselves. These owls are mostly active at night, so we were fortunate to see one during the day.

The great horned owl we saw was perched high up in a tree, surveying the area for food. It was an amazing sight and a real treat for us birdwatchers!

Western Meadowlarks

We saw plenty of Western Meadowlarks while camping in Nebraska. They are beautiful birds with bright yellow breasts and a black V on their chest. They are also one of the few true songbirds of the West. We enjoyed listening to their melodious songs each morning and evening.

Western Meadowlarks Nebraska wildlife camping

These birds can be found in grasslands, pastures, farmlands, and open woodlands throughout most of western North America. They feed mainly on insects like beetles, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and some seeds. They build their nests on the ground using dry grasses and other plant materials.

Western Meadowlarks are great to have around because they help control insect populations in agricultural fields and keep them from becoming a nuisance. Unfortunately, their numbers have been declining due to habitat loss and fragmentation. To help conserve this species, it is important to protect their natural habitats by creating wildlife corridors between areas of suitable habitat.


We were excited to see a muskrat while camping in Nebraska! This little guy was scurrying around the campsite, looking for food. He was so cute and we enjoyed watching him for a while.

Muskrat Nebraska wildlife camping

Muskrats are semi-aquatic rodents that are native to North America and can be found near ponds, streams, or marshes. They are typically gray or brown in color and have webbed feet which help them swim. Muskrats create their homes by constructing dams made of mud and sticks, which also helps with their swimming activities. They mainly eat aquatic vegetation like lily pads and cattails, but will also feed on insects, crayfish, frogs, fish, and small mammals.

This particular muskrat seemed quite content to be around people. We observed him for quite a while as he searched for food and enjoyed the sunshine. He was probably looking for nuts, seeds, or other edible items that our campsite visitors had left out!

Prairie Dogs

As we drove through Nebraska, we were excited to see all of the animals that called this state home. One of the first animals we saw were prairie dogs. These small, rodent-like creatures are fascinating to watch as they go about their day.

Prairie Dogs Nebraska wildlife camping

For hours, we watched them play and interact with each other in their underground burrows. It was an amazing experience to see these little creatures up close and personal.


We spotted this elk while we were out hiking near our campsite. It was a beautiful sight! We couldn’t believe how close it came to us before it ran off into the woods.

Elk Nebraska wildlife camping

It was an incredible experience to see such a majestic animal in its natural habitat! The elk was huge, with a thick brown coat and impressive antlers. We were fascinated to watch it move gracefully through the trees and brush. We stood there in awe for a few minutes before it galloped away.

5 places you will find wildlife in Nebraska


a place bursting with incredible wildlife. For nature enthusiasts and families looking to educate their children about the wonders of the natural world, the state offers a plethora of spots to immerse oneself in pure, untamed beauty. Here are five fantastic places to start your wholesome wildlife adventure in the heart of the Midwest:

  1. Valentine National Wildlife Refuge: Nestled in the Sandhills of north-central Nebraska, this refuge paints a serene picture of rolling dunes and clear lakes. Spot prairie chickens doing their unique dance, observe mule deer in their natural habitat, or sit by a lake and watch the waterfowl create ripples in the water.
  2. Fontenelle Forest: Just a stone’s throw from Omaha, Fontenelle Forest feels like stepping into another world. Wander the trails under the dense canopy and you might spot squirrels scampering, birds flitting, and deer cautiously observing you from a distance. It’s a magical haven for both wildlife and humans alike.
  3. Indian Cave State Park: Meandering south-east from Nebraska City will lead you to this treasure trove. With its hardwood forests gracing the banks of the mighty Missouri River, it’s a hotspot for deer, wild turkeys, and nocturnal critters. The park’s trails offer not just wildlife sightings but also a journey through history with ancient petroglyphs awaiting the keen-eyed explorer.
  4. Rowe Sanctuary: Near Kearney, this sanctuary is a paradise for bird watchers. It’s especially renowned for the annual Sandhill Crane migration. Imagine the sky painted with thousands of these majestic birds; it’s a sight that brings visitors from all over the world!
  5. Scotts Bluff National Monument: This iconic landmark in western Nebraska is not just about its impressive bluffs. The diverse habitats around the monument house mule deer, golden eagles, and even the occasional bobcat. As you hike up the bluff, take a moment to appreciate both the panoramic views and the wildlife that calls this place home.

So, pack your binoculars, lace up your hiking boots, and embark on a wholesome journey through Nebraska’s wild side. The memories you create will warm your heart for years to come!


Camping in Nebraska was an unforgettable experience with its wide variety of unique and exciting animals. From the majestic bald eagle to the playful river otters, there were countless opportunities to observe nature at its best. 

We hope that this article has been able to capture some of these amazing experiences and inspire you to explore nature yourself. 

Remember, no matter where you are camping, keep your eyes peeled for some incredible animal sightings!

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