Ponderosa Ranch

Ponderosa Ranch, a privately owned 3,600 acre ranch in the Pine Ridge area of Dawes County, boasts a diverse habitat for many species of birds. Open rolling grass meadows, steep hills, ridges studded with Pondersa Pine trees and ravines with Chokecherries, Green Ash, Hackberry, Cottonwood, and Box Elder trees and spring-fed creek bottoms, create an ideal environment for birds unique to the Panhandle of Nebraska. Birds of special interest that occur here include Pygmy Nuthatch, Rock Wren, Red Crossbill, Brewers Sparrow, Black-headed Grossbeak, Western Tanager, Sharp-tailed Grouse, and Golden Eagle.

Habitats include upland coniferous forest, upland coniferous and deciduous woodlands, upland mixed grass and shortgrass prairies, badlands, dry cliffs, and rock outcrops. There are also spring-fed creeks present. Ponderosa Ranch is located within the Nebraska National Forest and adjacent to the Ponderosa Wildlife Management Area. Lodging is available on site. The ranch boasts a rich history, and offers other recreational activities in addition to birding.