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Wildlife related articles and blogs from the staff of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

10 Things about Beautiful, Beneficial Bats!

Eastern red bat. Photo courtesy of Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, Inc.

Wild bats. They get such a bad rep. Most likely it’s because they’re portrayed in popular culture and the media as scary, blood-sucking, rabid creatures of the night that live in dark, stank places. They are the subjects of creepy, Halloween tales and horror stories. Gosh darn, I think that’s a shame! As a resource professional, I view bats as a native, beneficial component of our natural world and so should you! In fact, I think they’re cool. No, check that, I think they’re beautiful! Look! So, here are 10 things you should know about ... Read More »

Poaching Incident in Ponca Hills; Know Anything?

deerpoaching1

Conservation Officer Rich Berggren of Waterloo, NE continues to seek information on a deer poaching incident that occurred recently in the Ponca Hills area of northern Douglas County. Here’s the news release done by Jerry Kane of Game and Parks concerning the details of the incident as well as trail/game camera photos of it. Game and Parks Seeks Information on Illegally Harvested Deer LINCOLN – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is seeking information involving a case of deer being illegally harvested ... Read More »

Sound of summer going silent

Dickcissel

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 »

12 Reasons to Appreciate Hunting in Nebraska

tealhuntspread

Hunting in Nebraska means so much! It benefits nature, our economy, provides funding for conservation and wildlife management, contributes to promoting a healthier lifestyle, strengthens interpersonal relationships, makes for lasting memories, has a charitable characteristic, and directly connects us with life on our planet. Here are 12 reasons why you should appreciate this age-old lifestyle here in the Cornhusker State as our popular fall hunting seasons approach! Hunting manages wildlife populations. Hunting keeps nature at a healthy balance of which ... 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

RBHU

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 »

The New, Improved CRP

pheashab49

“Laws change; people die; the land remains.” – Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States.  Farmers, I am one of you. I am a landowner. I manage our nearly 150 year-old family farm here in southeastern Nebraska. No, I am not some crazy, wild conservationist just because I work for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. I am a crazy, wild conservationist because I am a progressive Nebraska landowner who has farmed his best ground and conserved the rest of it. Over the years I have ... Read More »

Critical mass: Glossy Ibis are everywhere

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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 »

Ospreys on the verge of success?

An adult Osprey on its nest.

Ospreys first nested in Nebraska in 2008 and there have been nesting attempts about every year since.  However, I do not believe there is firm evidence any of the nesting attempts have been successful (young are not known to have fledged from any nest).  This may finally be the year Nebraska Ospreys register one or two in the win column.  I was recently on the road in western Nebraska and had a chance to check in on a nest near Lake McConaughy.  This ... Read More »