Home » Author Archives: Joel Jorgensen

Author Archives: Joel Jorgensen

Joel Jorgensen is a Nebraska native and he has been interested in birds just about as long as he has been breathing. He has been NGPC’s Nongame Bird Program Manager for eight years and he works on a array of monitoring, research, regulatory and conservation issues. Nongame birds are the 400 or so species that are not hunted and include the Whooping Crane, Least Tern, Piping Plover, Bald Eagle, and Peregrine Falcon. When not working, he enjoys birding.

The upside down jewel of the prairie


With so much ornithology occurring in a Nebraska prairie in June, it is easy to become distracted.  A few bird species, though, capture one’s attention and won’t let go.  One of those species is the Bobolink, a bird  so marvelous it has been a subject of several poems (e.g., 1 2 3), including those penned by Emily Dickinson. My first memories of Bobolinks were as a young kid in the pastures around Sprick’s Pond, a local fishing hot spot in Washington County.  In addition ... Read More »

Double-brooding kestrels’ eggs hatch

kestrels 2nd brood

With all the recent happening with Peregrine Falcons the American Kestrels have been overshadowed.  However, it is time to revisit our prolific pair.  The last time I blogged about them was at the end of May when they were both fledging offspring from their first clutch and starting their second one, at the same time.    The pair’s second clutch of the season ended up totaling five eggs.  Now, about a month later, four of the five eggs have hatched ... Read More »

And the Peregrine Falcon’s name is…….


And so here we are at the end.  It has been a fun Peregrine Falcon season.  Today’s ceremony at the Capitol announcing the winning entry for the “name-the-chick” contest was a great way to put an exclamation point on it all.  In fact, it made it special because it was about a lot more than Peregrine Falcons. We had a great “name-the-chick” contest this year, with 507 initial suggestions and then 1,560 votes cast to select the winner from five finalists.  After ... Read More »

Falcon name to be announced Friday at Capitol

Photo credit:  Jeanne Hibbert.

After a great deal of anticipation and a little bit of a delay, I’m thrilled to broadcast we will be announcing the winning entry and introducing the winners of the Peregrine Falcon “name-the-chick” contest at a public event at the Capitol on Friday afternoon.   Specifically, we will be gathering for a brief ceremony on the north steps of the Capitol at 1 p.m.  In case of rain, we will move to the 14th floor rotunda. The young bird has fledged, appears to ... Read More »

Big Peregrine news gets bigger!


First, a little bit of housekeeping.  Our announcement regarding the winner of our “name-the-chick” contest may not occur today as previously scheduled.  It will happen soon, so stay tuned. Now….back to regular programming.    Last week, I blogged about the new Peregrine Falcon nest site at Omaha Public Power District’s (OPPD) power station in north Omaha (be sure to check out OPPD’s falcon webpage HERE).  There was also a nice story in the Omaha World-Herald.  In the post, I stated ... Read More »

Big Peregrine news – a new Nebraska nest!

An adult Peregrine Falcon and at least one eyas.  Photo credit:  Andrew Roger/Omaha Public Power District.

So Nebraska only has two pairs of nesting Peregrine Falcons, correct?  Well, not anymore…… I was recently contacted by Laura King-Homan of the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) who informed me that they have a pair of Peregrine Falcons nesting on their smokestack at their power plant located in north Omaha.  I was aware they had placed a nest box on a smokestack years ago and had recently observed at least one adult Peregrine Falcon in the area, but the news ... Read More »

VOTE NOW: Name-the-chick finalists!


After receiving 507 submissions during the first phase of our “name-the-chick” contest, a select committee had the tremendous challenge of selecting finalists.  After gut-wrenching deliberations and fierce debate, the committee chose the five finalists.  With finalists selected, it is now time for “the people” to have the final word.  Below, I provide the finalists along with the explanation or justification as to why the eyas should receive the respective name.  Then, below this is the actual poll.  The finalists, in alphabetical order, ... Read More »

Good Heavens, Helen, what are those birds doing?


Contributed by Dr. Mary Bomberger Brown Cliff Swallows are one of the most common, if not the most common, bird in Nebraska. Historically, they placed their melon-sized mud nests on the sides of cliffs, then people started building them nice, solid, secure concrete cliffs (road culverts and highway bridges). They now nest almost exclusively on those structures. Every year, a few pairs nest solitarily, but the vast majority nest in colonies ranging from 2 to 6000 nests in size. Most ... Read More »

RARE: world’s greatest traveler found in York County


On the final day of May 2015, I decided to do a little morning birding in eastern portions of the Rainwater Basin before picking up some mulch I needed to finish yet another yard project.  The weather was too nice not to get out for a while even though the frenzy and possibility of spring migration had waned.  The outing was an opportunity to search for leftover migrant shorebirds and also lingering waterbirds.  The latter is of interest because some of these birds ... Read More »

Name-the-chick Contest – it’s on!!!


It is time to commence the “name-the-chick” contest.  Once again, we look forward to a spirited contest with numerous imaginative entries.  Previous winning names can be viewed here.  Rules and important information are as follows: There is one male Peregrine Falcon chick. The period to submit names is 29 May June to 10:00 a.m. CDT 11 June. From all the entries, finalists will be selected and the public will be allowed to vote on their favorite.  Voting will end 19 June and the ... Read More »