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

Final Days

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Tomorrow (1/31) marks the final day of the upland bird season in Nebraska for this season.  As mentioned in years past (Last Day 2014; End of Season 2013) I do my best to hunt it.  The reasons are many but it simply boils down to the fact that I want to be there. The day will start too early.  The walking may be too wet or slippery thanks to a front moving through tonight. But it will all end too ... Read More »

Trapping Report from the Creek

Even Opossums Get Smiles

A quick update on our newest hobby – trapping raccoon (A New Addiction Returns).  We hit the second weekend of this new endeavor with lots of enthusiasm and hope.  We had learned a good deal from our first go with it and looked to put this gained knowledge to work.  Armed with twice as many traps (six) we hit the dry creek bottom we had previously. The results were that we learned even more with this second session.  First of ... Read More »

Searching for Nebraska Piping Plovers on the Laguna Madre

Joel Jorgensen on the Laguna Madre

Perhaps you saw Lauren Dinan’s article in Sunday’s Lincoln Journal Star about our Piping Plover color-banding project.  Maybe you also remember last year I blogged about searching for Piping Plovers on the Texas coast near Galveston that were originally banded in Nebraska by the the Tern and Plover Conservation Partnership and the Nongame Bird Program.  In addition to finding one of “our” birds, I also found several Piping Plovers banded by other research groups in the northern Great Plains.  If you read ... Read More »

Nebraska Turkeys Heading to Montana

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CHADRON — In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Nebraska reintroduced wild turkeys from other states to its landscape after the big birds had been extirpated decades earlier during the nation’s westward expansion. The reintroduction was so successful that turkeys have again become common border-to-border and Nebraska is now able to return the favor to another state. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission led an effort this week to trap wild turkeys on a ranch near Whiteclay in northern Sheridan ... Read More »

A New Addiction Returns

A Good-sized Boar

In my college days I tagged along with a couple of good friends, Scot & Deven, as they worked their trap lines and worked nuisance animal control jobs.  Not only was this a chance to be outdoors with my buddies, it gave me an appreciation for the time and effort they put into the process.  They truly loved the challenge of out-thinking the critters they were after.  It definitely was not the money that kept them interested.  At the time ... Read More »

Bald Eagle Viewing on WOWT 6 Outdoors

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Don’t miss my weekly TV outdoor report this Thursday night when we cover bald eagle viewing in Nebraska and not far from the metro area! Who doesn’t enjoy seeing bald eagles in the wild at places like De Soto Refuge, huh? I certainly do! Learn more about winter bald eagle viewing by tuning in to my outdoor segment which airs on Omaha’s WOWT-TV/Channel 6 LIVE Thursday evening during the 6 p.m. CST sportscast with Ross Jernstrom. Unable to view the live broadcast of the report? Take note that video replays ... Read More »

Eagle viewing, gulling heats up at Lake Ogallala

A Herring (left), Ring-billed (center) and Glaucous Gull at Lake Ogallala on Saturday, 10 January.

Last week our Communications staff put out this news release stating that now is a good time for eagle viewing.  It is.  A portion of my trek to twitch the Brown Pelican last Saturday included a stop at Lake Ogallala State Recreation Area.  The recent cold snap froze Lake McConaughy and almost all of Lake Ogallala.  However, this can be positive because limited open water will concentrate birds.  Since open water (and very importantly food) is present immediately in the spillway ... Read More »

Where to See Wild Geese Up-Close on WOWT 6 Outdoors

BandedCanadagoose

Don’t miss my Weekly Outdoor Report tonight on Omaha’s WOWT-TV/Channel 6 when we take you to a state recreation area near the Omaha-metro to show you where you can go to view and photograph wild Canada geese (and perhaps a few wild ducks). You’ll be able to view them up-close from sunrise to about 9:30 a.m. and then from just after 3 p.m. to sunset in the open water and on the ice at a couple of the sandpit lakes on ... Read More »

Twitching Sutherland’s Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican

On Saturday morning, my alarm sounded at 3:45 a.m. and I rose out of bed in order to take the three-hour drive to Sutherland Reservoir to “twitch” a Brown Pelican.  For non-birders, “twitching” is a British birding term meaning to chase after a previously located (usually rare) bird.  Brown Pelicans are typically found in coastal areas but birds occasionally wander inland.  The Brown Pelican I was chasing was found by Stephen J. Dinsmore and Kevin Murphy on 26 December 2014.  Nebraska’s ... Read More »

An Outdoor Challenge for 2015

How many shots will you fire in 2015?

Resolutions are popular this time of year, both in their making and breaking. I have a few annual resolutions myself: get organized and spend more time outdoors.  Ok…being as creative as I am about the placement and random storage of needed items, getting organized by the standard definition is a pipe dream.  But I do plan on increasing my time outside. And making it better, too, by measuring it differently this year.  I challenge you to do the same… How ... Read More »