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

Six Cures for (Late-Winter) Cabin Fever

easternbluebird

Brrrr! It’s been so cold outside! Temperatures have been running far below normal as evidenced this past week by the large thermometer I have in our backyard. Off and on, I continue to suffer from cabin fever! How about you? From my vantage point in eastern Nebraska, we’re kind of in between seasons in the state’s outdoor scene, too. As a sportsman, I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of snow and Ross’s geese for light goose conservation order hunting here in eastern Nebraska and open water fishing for various ... Read More »

More Elk Collared in North-central Nebraska

Pilot David Rivers and gunner Donnie Wackerman get ready to take flight Tuesday morning. (NEBRASKAland/Justin Haag)

BASSETT – The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission placed tracking collars on three elk near Bassett in north-central Nebraska on Tuesday, the latest installment of a multi-year effort to use real-time location data to determine populations, make harvest recommendations and monitor herd health. Game and Parks contracted a helicopter wildlife capture crew to catch the elk and equip them with GPS tracking collars and ear tags. In addition, samples were taken from the three cows to obtain health and genetic ... Read More »

Peregrine Falcon shocker!

19/K at the Woodmen

We received news today from our partners at the Woodmen Building that a new male Peregrine Falcon was spotted at the nestbox in downtown Omaha.  The good news was they were able to read the color band to identify this male falcon.  The shocking news was the band was very familiar, black over green and the letters 19/K.  This alphanumeric band belongs to the male Peregrine Falcon that has been one half of the nesting pair present at the Nebraska Capitol ... Read More »

Spring Brings the Call of the Crane

Cranes landing on the Platte River at sunset near North Platte.

The spring migration has begun when the unique and primeval call of the sandhill crane is heard; it is one that captures our attention and curiosity. Standing four-foot tall these prehistoric birds travel through Nebraska as part of their migration from summering areas in Texas, New Mexico and Mexico to their nesting areas in the upper United States, Canada and as far North as Siberia. In the Central Flyway, Nebraska is one of the few places left for the 500,000-plus ... Read More »

What do birders want?

Birder scoping at Branched Oak Lake SRA

That is the question, what do birders want?  What I mean by want is, what factors motivate or influence birders to expend time and resources to go birding.  I am a birder and I know what I want when it comes to birding.  I have also become aware that birdwatching and birding is a highly-individualized activity.  I think that is one of its great attributes.  How anyone defines or finds value in watching or observing birds is as valid as how the next person ... Read More »

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Pepe_Le_Pew

The calendar has rolled around again, and it is that time of year–Yep, time for the skunks to mate. Why else would Valentine’s Day be scheduled for this time of year? Afterall, the greatest lover of all time was a skunk, Pepe LePew! By the way, the old Looney Tunes were and still are the greatest cartoons of all time.  I still watch them. . . and laugh! You should also know that some of the most irresistible perfumes use skunk ... Read More »

Bald Eagles Break Nest Record in 2014

Adult Bald eagle on its' nest in April 2014.

Breaking records is something we have become accustomed to since Bald Eagles started nesting in the state after a long absence. Last year was no exception, as the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and our partners surveyed 146 Bald Eagle nests in 2014 and determined 111 of them to be active. Even though a record numbers of nests is a regular occurrence, and it is human nature to be lulled by the routine, it is worth taking a few moments to consider ... Read More »

Let’s Talk Light Geese on Great Outdoor Radio Show

Dogwithsnowgoose

Dr. Mark Vrtiska, Waterfowl Program Manager for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, visits this Saturday Morning’s (Feb. 14)Great Outdoor Radio Show. Mark, will be discussing all aspects of the current Light Goose Conservation Order hunting period on snow and Ross’s geese. The Great Outdoor Radio Show airs from 9-10 a.m. CST on Omaha’s KOZN Radio/1620 AM “The Zone.” Give us a listen! Remember that you can be part of the conversation on the program. Here are the phone numbers ... Read More »

Oddity

DSCN6291

I want to take a trip back to the trap line for this blog post; actually not my trap line, but my nephew’s.  A few weeks ago I was out west for a weekend and had a little time to check out some of the fur my nephew had caught this trapping season, his first.  What he really wanted to show off was one of the raccoons he trapped, something rather unusual. There are several hundred thousand raccoons taken in ... Read More »

Birding Nance and Merrick Counties

Fox Sparrow

Over the past two years, I have gotten serious about county listing.  For several years, a renegade named Mark Brogie has compiled birder’s county lists for Nebraska.  A county list is simply the number of bird species an individual has seen and identified in a county.  I participated passively for many years.  I had a few favored counties where I was serious, but not all 93.  About 2 years ago I got hooked.  With nice weather over the weekend, I had a ... Read More »