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Nongame Bird Blog

Nongame birds are the 400 or so species that are not hunted and include the Whooping Crane, Least Tern, Piping Plover, Bald Eagle, and Peregrine Falcon. Joel Jorgensen has been NGPC’s Nongame Bird Program Manager for eight years and he works on a array of monitoring, research, regulatory and conservation issues.

Four days birding western Nebraska

Northern Waterthrush

I was off last Friday and Monday and took a four-day weekend birding trip to western Nebraska.  The end of August and early September is one the most exciting times to go birding because migration peaks for many species, particularly passerines (songbirds).  Once we move past early September, the number of species leaving our part of the world for warmer climes increases quickly .  Many species like orioles, kingbirds and warblers, will soon be all but summer memories.  Fall migration occurs in ... Read More »

Kestrels defy odds – pull off second brood

junior2

It has been a while since I blogged about our American Kestrels and their late-season breeding attempt.  It now appears the pair is on the verge of success.  As kestrel-watchers already know, only one of the four eggs in the pair’s second clutch hatched.  The lone chick has grown quickly; the bird’s fluffy white appearance is no more.  The young female resembles an adult American Kestrel and I expect it will leave its nestbox in the next few days. As wrote in ... Read More »

Four plants for hummingbirds

Black-and-blue salvia

In my recent post about attracting hummingbirds, I briefly mentioned how incorporating certain plants into your yard will help attract hummingbirds.  I stated it was perhaps the subject of another blog post, and so it is.  Below, I list four plants that hummingbirds seem to favor based on my experience.  Their hummingbird appeal is just one factor in my determination.  I also considered ease/difficulty of growing here in Nebraska and also just my own personal preference for the plants’ aesthetic appeal.  I only consider ... Read More »

Piping Plovers returning to Gulf Coast

Honeymoon Island Plover

Contributed by Lauren Dinan, Nongame Bird Biologist After spending the last three months nesting here in Nebraska, Piping Plovers have migrated south. Several of our lower Platte River plovers have already been re-sighted at their wintering sites along the Gulf Coast. These observations include a re-sighting of Erwin, our famous Piping Plover.  Erwin is famous because he has been observed numerous times in winter in Florida. Erwin was banded as a three-day old chick at a lakeshore housing development in Dodge County, Nebraska, in June ... Read More »

Attracting hummingbirds – it’s time

Rufous Hummingbird

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 have never put out a hummingbird feeder or if you have become frustrated when you did because you never saw a hummingbird, the time is right to give it a try or to try again.  Understanding a few details about Nebraska’s hummingbirds and feeders is important to be successful. ... 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 »

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 »

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 »