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.

Peregrine news: Orozco re-sighted (away from Lincoln)

Orozco at Offutt

Back in September I received a note from the Bird Banding Lab that one of our banded birds had been re-sighted.  Initially, I thought it was probably a Piping Plover or a Least Tern since those species are mostly what we band.  When I looked at the band number it was obviously a larger species.  I immediately suspected Peregrine Falcon.  A quick band number look-up revealed it was the band we used on Orozco, the Peregrine Falcon hatched at the Capitol this ... Read More »

From the mailbag – flocks of hawks?

Swainson's Hawk

I recently blogged about one “slice” of migrating songbirds which are currently gracing us with their presence.  All sorts of birds are migrating through Nebraska right now.  The end of September and early October brings a few notable migratory peaks that people notice each year and often inquire what species they have observed.  Franklin’s Gulls numbers are peaking as they move through the central Plains; I blogged about this spectacle a couple years ago.  There is also a raptor whose numbers are ... Read More »

A slice of September migrants

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Migration is going by quickly.  A few laggards not withstanding, many birds such as kingbirds, wood-pewees and orioles are gone for the year, not to be seen again until next spring.  Every week, and often on the heels of each cold front, we have the opportunity to enjoy a different assemblage of migrant birds.  Some migrants only appear in our area for brief periods each spring and fall as they travel between wintering and breeding areas and then back.  What is ... Read More »

Plover trouble in Texas

Photo of the Piping Plover entangled in the fishing line. Photo provided by Mark Bartosik.

Contributed by Lauren Dinan, Nongame Bird Biologist A couple weeks ago we were made aware that one of our Nebraska Piping Plovers was found entangled in some fishing line on the Texas coast near Texas City. This plover was found by Mark Bartosik and was struggling to escape from fishing line anchored to the ground.  Mark carefully freed the plover from the fishing line but noticed that it was injured and unable to fly.  This plover was taken to a ... Read More »

Nebraska’s newest “threatened” bird

Red Knot

This past Friday (31 August), the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission met in Burwell and one of the business items on the agenda was adding two species to the state list of threatened and endangered species.  One of those species was the long-eared bat, which is not a bird and therefore I am not qualified to discuss.  The other species was a bird called the Red Knot.  Since I have received a couple questions wondering why a bird many people ... Read More »

Sound of summer going silent


So here we are at the end of summer.  I always have mixed feelings this time of year.  I am excited about cooler weather, fall migration, and football, but I also always feel a bit bummed thinking about all the summer birds that will soon be leaving us for warmer climes.  It happens quickly, with each passing week more species depart, migrating south, not to be seen again until spring 2016.  As I was out birding on Sunday, I was ... Read More »

First time in a hundred years

Eared Grebes with young

On Sunday, I once again ventured to the Rainwater Basin to follow-up on some nesting birds I’ve been tracking.  One visit was to a site to check on a small aggregation (11 nests) of breeding Eared Grebes I found on 7 July. Eared Grebes are fairly common spring and fall migrants throughout Nebraska.  This species is also a fairly common breeder in the Sandhills, but south of the Platte River breeding records are few.  The discovery of nesting Eared Grebes in the ... Read More »

Growing up Mudhen

coot chick 2

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I’ve spent some time this summer in a few Rainwater Basin marshes surveying breeding birds.  Arguably the most common breeding species I observed was the American Coot.  My forays into the marsh allowed me to observe this species during its breeding cycle, from combative territorial squabbles between pairs to awkward chicks taking their first swim.  Coots are often referred to as mudhens.  They are duck-like, but they are not ducks.  They are members of the ... Read More »

Attracting hummingbirds – it’s time


This blog post was originally published on August 3rd, 2014.  On Sunday afternoon, I observed my first Ruby-throated Hummingbird of the fall migration.  Thus, bringing it back as a reminder that it is indeed time to put out a hummingbird feeder if you have not already done so.    As I stated on this blog about two years ago, I get excited when August rolls around because it represents the unofficial start of fall hummingbird season in Nebraska.  If you ... Read More »

Critical mass: Glossy Ibis are everywhere

Fullscreen capture 7232015 74402 PM

A couple weeks ago, I blogged about discovering Glossy Ibis nesting in the Rainwater Basin.  This species has been increasing in the state since its first documented occurrence in 1999.  Glossy Ibis are similar in appearance to the more common White-faced Ibis.  White-faced Ibis have also increased in our state over the last several decades.  On Tuesday of this week, I found myself driving down Highway 2 between Lakeside and Antioch in Sheridan County and was amazed by the numbers of ... Read More »