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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.

The roadside Prairie-Chicken incident

GPCH7 - Copy

Spring migration is about at its peak, so naturally on Saturday I was out birding even though the weather was less than perfect.  After venturing to central Nebraska on Arbor Day, I decided to head south to Gage County to see if I could pick up a few county birds.  After birding Diamond Lake Wildlife Management Area, I decided to start working my way back east by driving county roads along the Kansas-Nebraska border.  My hope was to snag a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, …

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Spring birds in the Sandhills

Wilson's Snipe making a living in a roadside ditch.

I spent a good chunk of time in the Nebraska Sandhills the past two weeks and below are a few avian photo highlights from the foray as well as a couple landscape shots.  Sandhills with early morning fog near Antioch Spring is here and there are all sorts of birds to see and experience.  Get out there, and, good birding!

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Getting intimate – saw-whet owls in Nebraska


Wayne Mollhoff is a well-known figure in Nebraska birding and ornithology circles.  He authored The Nebraska Breeding Bird Atlas (2001) and just wrapped up coordinating the state’s second breeding bird atlas.  He has also done something quite innovative in order to improve our understanding of one difficult-to-detect bird species, the Northern Saw-whet Owl, breeding status in the state.  This small species of owl has been known to occur in pine forests of western Nebraska during spring and summer for some …

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Egg #5

five eggs

I am currently out hanging with Long-billed Curlews in Sandhills, but have just enough time to acknowledge the Peregrine Falcons now have five eggs. That should be it, right?   We’ll see if there is a sixth egg in a couple days.

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Prairie-Chicken Festival 2016


I had the pleasure again this year of helping out with the Nebraska Prairie Chicken Festival hosted by Calamus Outfitters.  Even though the wind blew, it was an excellent weekend and the chickens showed very well and put on a great performance.  I also caught wind of a big-time rarity that visited the area back in February.  Below are a few photo highlights from the weekend. This is an Eastern Screech-Owl we called in at dusk on Friday evening. American …

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Egg #4

4 eggs

I am a little late with this update about egg #4 since I was at the Nebraska Prairie Chicken Festival Friday and Saturday.  However, apparently the fourth egg did appear late Friday or early Saturday. We are at the point where it is more a question of if there will be a fifth egg rather than when it will appear.  If there is a fifth egg, we should see it by Monday morning.    If you are looking for our …

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No kestrelcam in 2016

kestrels 2nd brood

Even though our American Kestrels are back this year and will be laying eggs soon, we will be unable to provide streaming video of them this year.   This is due to some network capacity limitations as well as some other technical stuff I do not understand. Our apologies and we will try to find a solution and hopefully kestrelcam, and scenes such as the one above, will be back in 2017.  Good birding!

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Egg #3

three eggs

As expected, the female Peregrine Falcon laid egg #3 midday Wednesday. A fourth egg, if there is to be one, should arrive during the day on Friday.   If you are looking for our our streaming video where you can watch the birds and their eggs live, please click HERE. Good birding!

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The Wilkinson Whooping Cranes

Wilkinson Whooping Cranes

As announced in a press release last week, Wilkinson Wildlife Management Area in Platte County was partially closed to public access until late yesterday (5 April) due to the presence of three adult Whooping Cranes.  The birds were visible from a county road and nearly 400 people have come out to see them during their stay.  Monday evening, the birds put on quite a show and I was fortunate to capture some video of them dancing.  The video is below.  In addition to the …

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Egg #2

Egg #2

Either late Sunday or early Monday the female Peregrine Falcon laid egg #2. Egg #3 should appear in about two days.  If you are looking for our LIVE! streaming video where you can see every breaking moment at the Peregrine Falcon’s nest box, click HERE. Good birding!

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