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

Throwback Thursday: Exaggeration Postcards

Photo Source: Nebraska State Historical Society.

Fishing and hunting yarns and photos have always been part of Nebraska’s great outdoor scene. Beginning in the early 1900s and for decades thereafter, Nebraska postcards depicted altered, exaggerated images of game, fish and agriculture. These were done to promote the unique aspects of a place or product as well as to document local history. They were also used to lure folks to the Cornhusker State to hunt, fish or visit. Considered western-style humor, these exaggeration postcards were extremely popular ... Read More »

More on White-winged Doves

White-winged Dove

My recent post about White-winged Doves generated some excellent feedback.  The feedback included a few additional White-winged Dove reports.  It became apparent, however, there is some uncertainty regarding whether some doves people are observing are indeed White-winged Doves or something else.  The something else seems to typically be Eurasian Collared-Doves, which is a non-native species that arrived in the state in 1997 and rapidly increased and expanded its range.  Eurasian Collared-Doves are now common and even abundant in many areas ... Read More »

Only one

Only one

It appears our American Kestrel’s are encountering less success on their second nesting.  The first egg from the clutch of four hatched on 24 July.  The expectation was the others should of hatch in succession.  Four days later, the other three eggs have not hatched.  It is probable that the other three will not hatch. Hopefully we’ll see the single chick make it.  It is important to remember that double-brooding by this species is not common.  Thus, this second nesting ... Read More »

LIVE Raptors at Great Outdoor Radio Show Broadcast

Denise Lewis and Great-Horned Owl. Photo Source: Fontenelle Forest Raptor Recovery.

Join me tomorrow morning for a very special edition of The Great Outdoor Radio Show I host when Denise Lewis and friends from Fontenelle Forest’s Raptor Recovery team come with a few live birds to the Waterford Assisted Living facility at Miracle Hills in Omaha. See LIVE raptors of Nebraska! We’ll be highlighting the tremendous conservation work that Fontenelle Forest’s Raptor Recovery does with injured, sick or orphaned raptors as well as the vital role that nongame wildlife such as raptors have in any ecosystem! The ... Read More »

Kestrel eggs hatching – again!

American Kestrel, chick and eggs

Back on 7 May I posted a brief bit about the American Kestrel eggs hatching.  It is time to do it again.  The first American Kestrel egg of the pair’s second clutch has hatched.  Below are screens shot from mid-morning (24 July).  The chick is still wet in the shots.  Once it dries, it will take on the appearance of a white fluffball. The other eggs should also hatch soon.   The KestrelCam can be viewed HERE.  Click on the ... Read More »

White-winged Doves increasing in Nebraska

White-winged Dove

In 1994, a bird species was documented in Nebraska for the first time.  Additions to Nebraska’s official state list are always exciting.  However, this occurrence was not a surprise because the species, the White-winged Dove, had been increasing in numbers and expanding its range for some time.  White-winged Doves historically were found in the U.S. only in the Southwest in states such as Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.  After the initial Nebraska record, reports increased.  By 2001, there were a total ... Read More »

Searching for the Elusive Yellow Lady’s Slipper Flower

GS_JanFeb2014

On a sunny, but muggy, morning last June, six Game and Parks Commission and Northern Prairies Land Trust biologists gathered at Indian Cave State Park. Our mission for the next two days: trek the park’s rugged, wooded hills in search of the elusive yellow lady’s-slipper orchid (Cypripedium parviflorum). A common and widespread North American species, the yellow lady’sslipper grows in coniferous and deciduous forests and wetlands across much of Canada and the U.S. Nebraska, however, supports only a handful of ... Read More »

More proof birds are cool

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Shorebirds are one of my favorite group of birds.  One reason is because they are amazing world travelers.   Technological advances, such as the use of satellite transmitters, has allowed researchers to highlight, in detail, the incredible navigation skills and physical endurance of shorebirds.  A project focused on Bar-tailed Godwits is a great example of how satellite transmitters, using the same GPS technology that gets you around an unfamiliar town, can show these birds are able to undertake feats that are ... Read More »

Stalker in the Garden

American Robin

Like many people, I enjoy turning dirt – gardening and landscaping in my yard.  Not only is it rewarding to see plants grow from meager beginnings, but these actions attracts birds.  In spring and summer when most planting and breaking-of-ground is taking place, I seem to have a stalker that is waiting to pounce the moment I step outside and grab an implement.  It is if an alarm sounds, or perhaps a dinner bell.  The stalker is an American Robin.  ... Read More »

Salt Creek Jewels

Amy Kucera/NEBRASKAland Magazine

A fog rising through the Salt Creek valley led me quietly out the door and down the driveway, past a series of dirt road intersections and directly to the gate of the Little Salt Fork Marsh Preserve near Raymond, just in time to greet the dawn. It was the barbed-wire spun in silk that first made me stop to consider the hidden creatures residing here that revealed a soft touch in sharp contrast to the tamed highway cutting through the creek. As I crossed ... Read More »