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

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 »

Cormorants nesting in Rainwater Basin

Double-crested Cormorants

I was back birding in the Rainwater Basin on Saturday (18 July).  The most surprising find of the day was the discovery of two Double-crested Cormorant pairs with nests at a large wetland.  The nests appeared to be mostly completed.  One bird, though, was observed bringing sticks to its nest and the females on both nests were not fixated on nest contents.  Thus, I suspect no one has laid any eggs yet.  This observation represents the first known nesting by this ... Read More »

Snakes at Aquarium on TV!

Dennis Ferraro displaying one of his many snake specimens. Photo courtesy of University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

SSSSsssss… A cool, slithering topic is on my weekly TV outdoor report this week. That’s because the popular “Snakes of Nebraska” weekend is upon us at the Ak-sar-ben Aquarium/Schramm Park State Recreation Area near Gretna, NE! See many of Nebraska’s 29 different species of snakes up-close! The featured presenter is none other than Nebraska’s own snake man – UNL herpetologist and good friend Dennis Ferraro.   Find out more about this must-attend event for the whole family by tuning in to ... Read More »

Jeepers – feather loss and bald birds

This male Northern Cardinal's appearance

The Fourth of July has come and gone, and summer is now about doldrums and dog days.  You’ve raised your offspring and sent them on their way.  Now, a little “me time” is in order to improve your plumage.  Ok, maybe not so much for you, but for some of our familiar feathered friends, it is that time of year.  Maintaining a fine-looking plumage is not easy and feathers wear out.   Thus, all birds molt during their annual cycle to ... Read More »

River Tuber Reminders

tubingNorthLoupRiver

Tubing is a cool, refreshing way to kick back and pass a hot summer day leisurely floating on one of our many scenic Nebraska rivers. However, in the wake of problems with some tubers on certain Nebraska rivers like the Elkhorn, I wanted to do a quick blog post to remind those of you planning to float Nebraska rivers on inner tubes this summer of five important points in order to prevent you from encountering problems. First. Life Jackets. A U.S. Coast Guard-approved, wearable and accessible life jacket ... Read More »

State of Misconception

Upper Snake River in Cherry County, NE.

“I am standing here in the middle of this field, and all I see is this grass, and sky, and it is effortless to breath.” – Source Unknown There is still a classic case of misrepresentation, rather a state of misconception happening with regard to the great state of Nebraska where I live. Just ask my new neighbors in Dundee Omaha! This blog post is for them and you to get an idea of just how Nebraska is such a state of diverse, ... Read More »

Nebraska Wildlife Rehab on Radio

beaver at vet

It’ll be an exciting, highly informative hour of outdoor talk radio when Laura Stastny, Executive Director of Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, Inc. based in Louisville, NE, visits The Great Outdoor Radio Show I host.   The primary mission of Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, Inc. is to rehabilitate injured, sick and orphaned native Nebraska wildlife and migratory birds for return to the wild. The organization is also a huge promoter of educating folks about the importance of wildlife, conservation and ecosystems as well as maintaining and restoring native wildlife ... Read More »

Glossy Ibis nesting – a Nebraska first

Nesting Glossy Ibis

The population increase and range expansion of the Glossy Ibis is one of the more interesting avian stories of the last quarter century.  Nebraska claimed it first documented record not that long ago in 1999.  In less than two decades since, Glossy Ibis have essentially become regular (annual) in occurrence in our state.  It is not unusual nowadays for multiple birds to be reported in a single season.  This species has also increased throughout the Great Plains and has been found nesting in ... Read More »