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Joel Jorgensen

Joel Jorgensen is a Nebraska native and he has been interested in birds just about as long as he has been breathing. He has been NGPC’s Nongame Bird Program Manager for eight years and he works on a array of monitoring, research, regulatory and conservation issues. 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. When not working, he enjoys birding.

Selasphorus surprise

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After just mentioning on this blog that it is time to put up hummingbird feeders, I had a delightful surprise in my backyard today (27 July) when a Selasphorus hummingbird made an appearance.  After seeing the bird several times, I thought the evidence indicated the female bird was a Broad-tailed Hummingbird based on size, apparently large tail, and rufous coloration appearing to be restricted to the outer rectrices.  This species breeds in the Rocky Mountains and is one that I never seen in …

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Attracting hummingbirds – it’s time

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This blog post was originally published on August 3rd, 2014.  On Sunday afternoon, I observed my first Ruby-throated Hummingbird of the fall migration.  Thus, bringing it back as a reminder that it is indeed time to put out a hummingbird feeder if you have not already done so.    I stated on this blog three years ago I get excited when the end of July rolls around because it represents the unofficial start of fall hummingbird season in Nebraska.  If you …

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Mega-rarity – Swallow-tailed Kite in Kearney

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Yesterday (25 July 2015), a Swallow-tailed Kite was photographed at Cottonmill Lake near Kearney.  Below is a photo of the bird taken by the observer, Dave Gleason. Swallow-tailed Kites historically occurred in Nebraska, but were extirpated before 1900.   Since the species was extirpated there is only one other previously-accepted record – a bird observed below Fort Falls, Cherry County, 26 May 2013.   Thus,  this observation is one heck of a record. Good birding! Many thanks to Jim Jenniges for passing along …

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Ospreys – more success in 2016?

Ospreys in Keith County

Last July, I blogged about nesting Ospreys in Nebraska and, specifically, about recent observations that a pair in Keith County appeared poised to fledge a single offspring.  This was momentous news because, even though Ospreys had nested on multiple occasions in Nebraska since 2008, all known previous nesting attempts ended in failure.  The news got even better in 2015 when Kathy DeLara reported three nests in Scotts Bluff County all appeared to fledge young.   Another year has passed and I had the …

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And the falcon’s name is…..

PEREGRINE FALCONS: Images of a peregrine nest box installation at the State Capitol Building. John Dinan putting rocks in peregrine nesting box and looking for peregrines (Falco peregrinus) at Capitol Building. [Mislabeled as FALC01 DC. Image by Doug Carroll not Don Cunningham.] Carroll, Apr. 3, 2003. Copyright NEBRASKAland Magazine, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

With more than a thousand total votes cast, the winning entry of our name-the-chick contest is “Dinan”. The name honors John J. Dinan, former Nongame Bird Program Manager at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.  John was instrumental in initiating the Peregrine Falcon projects at the Nebraska Capitol and WoodmenLife Tower.  To illustrate this point, we went to the NEBRASKAland archives and found a few wonderful photos of John working on the Peregrine Falcon projects back in the day.  The first photo shows …

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VOTE NOW! – Name-the-chick finalists

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After receiving 364 submissions during the first phase of our “name-the-chick” contest, a blue ribbon committee had the tremendous challenge of selecting finalists.  After gut-wrenching deliberations and fierce debate, the committee chose six finalists.  With finalists selected, it is now time for “the people” to have the final word and give our Peregrine Falcon a name.  Below, the finalists are listed and justification is provided explaining why each name is worthy of consideration.  Below the the list of finalists is the actual poll.  The finalists, …

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Scissor-tails in Pawnee County

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On Tuesday, I had to make a quick trip down to southeastern Nebraska which gave me an opportunity to visit a pair of nesting Scissor-tailed Flycatchers in Pawnee County.  Scissor-tailed Flycatchers are striking birds with extremely long tails that are rare but regular (annual in occurrence) in our state.  Southeastern Nebraska is right at the edge of their breeding range.  Scissor-tails are a species of tyrant flycatcher in the same genus (Tyrannus) as Eastern and Western Kingbirds.  Both kingbirds are common summer residents …

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Eyas return to Omaha

Betsy Finch and the young Peregrine Falcon just before its trip back to Omaha.

As has been reported elsewhere, a Peregrine Falcon eyas at the WoodmenLife Tower made a premature leap from it’s nest box in downtown Omaha late last week.  The youngster was quickly recovered by Denise Lewis with Fontenelle Forest’s Raptor Recovery (FFRR).  After a check-up, the eyas was returned to its nest box in Omaha by NGPC Conservation Officer and Raptor Recovery volunteer Dina Barta.  Below are a few photos Dina took during the return trip to Omaha. This is just another example, …

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Name-the-chick contest underway – submit your entry here

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With this year’s banding successfully completed, it is time to commence the “name-the-chick” contest.  Once again, we look forward to a spirited contest with numerous imaginative entries.  Last year’s winning entry was Orozco, which honored fallen Omaha Police officer Kerrie Orozco.  Other previous winning names can be viewed here.  Rules and important information are as follows: There is one MALE Peregrine Falcon chick. The period to submit names is from 7 June to 11:59 p.m. on 16 June. From all the entries, finalists will …

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Capitol banding a success

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The Peregrine Falcon eyas at the Capitol was successfully banded this morning.  We also determined the youngster is a male.  Below are a few photos from this morning’s fun. The last photo shows Betsy Finch of Fontenelle Forest’s Raptor Recovery providing an update on the status of 19/K, the adult male falcon who was found injured and who was recovered on Monday.  19/K made his was to and is being treated by Fontenelle Forests’ Raptor Recovery.  Betsy stated 19/k suffered …

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