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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.

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 »

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 »

Curious happenings and healthy skepticism

Peregrine Pair

The Peregrine Falcons have suddenly been spending an unexpected amount of time at the nestbox and behaving in ways that generate curiosity.  The following screenshots were captured Sunday afternoon. All of this has some individuals wondering whether the Peregrines may “pull a kestrel” and lay a second clutch of eggs.  I would be shocked and surprised if anything of consequence occurs at the nestbox this year, but I am naturally a skeptic.  Peregrine Falcons will re-nest, but re-nesting typically occurs when ... Read More »

Encore! Encore! – American Kestrels

American Kestrel second clutch

The American Kestrels apparently had so much fun raising one brood that they have decided to do it all over again this summer.  The female kestrel has laid two eggs as of the morning of 24 June, as shown in the photo, below. American Kestrels do not typically lay a second clutch of eggs or raise a second brood.  According to the Birds of North America (BNA) species account, 11% of American Kestrels in Florida raised a second brood.   The ... Read More »

Piping Plover Beach Battle

PIPL KILL

Birds’ struggle to survive and reproduce is not only waged in the elements (as we were recently reminded) but also in the midst of other birds and animals.  There is limited space in this world.  Species are bound to interact with one another.  Predators eat prey, small birds make way for the bigger ones and so on.  However, bigger isn’t always necessarily tougher.  Take, for example, the cute docile little Piping Plover.  This species is mentioned frequently on this blog ... Read More »

American Kestrels Fledging

Kestrel fledge

On a positive note, the American Kestrel chicks have started to fledge and leave the confines of their nestbox.   It is now 8:35 a.m. Friday morning and just in the last ten to fifteen minutes two more birds have taken the leap.  Only two of the five chicks remain.  There were four female and one male kestrel offspring and two females will be the last to leave.  The nestbox is located on the north side of the NGPC headquarters building ... Read More »

Sad news from the Capitol

Soggiest

We just put out a press release regarding last night’s unfortunate events at the Capitol.   It is pasted, below. Storms Claim Capitol Peregrine Falcon Chicks LINCOLN – The severe weather that wreaked havoc across much of Nebraska on the evening and night of June 3 also appears to have claimed the two peregrine falcon chicks atop the Nebraska Capitol building. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission provides live streaming video of the nest box, and many falcon watchers awoke to ... Read More »

Stormy Sunday, soggy birds

Soggy

Sunday evening’s rain was wonderful.  No terrible winds or hail, just a nice garden-variety thunderstorm.   Even so, if you happened to check in on the Peregrine Falcons during the rain you surely noticed that they did not enjoy it as much as some of us.   Even with the little roof, the breeze was sending drops right on them.   The eyases are now too big to brood – they no longer can take cover under the female’s body ... Read More »