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Urban Wildlife

Monica Macoubrie, Wildlife Educator Although “urban wildlife” might sound contradictory, there is in fact a great amount of wildlife that you can view from your backyard, a city park or even downtown Omaha – you might see peregrine falcon roosting on our state capitol, or a garter snake in a sump pump, or a mallard duck that has taken up residence in your tulips. Urban wildlife has come a long way since the time of our ancestors. These animals have …

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New website a guide to Nebraska birding

A screen grab of the home page of the new Nebraska Birding Guide site that uses a sandhill crane, one of Nebraska's most iconic birds.

By Olivia DaRugna/Nebraska Game and Parks Commission Birding is becoming one of the fastest growing outdoor recreation activities. With opportunities to observe birds from our yards to state parks, birds can be enjoyed by anyone and anywhere. To help assist those new to birding, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has launched the revamped Nebraska Birding Guide website, formerly known as Nebraska Birding Trails. The site highlights the unique, wide-ranging birding opportunities across the state. Birding opportunities are endless in …

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Finding Nature Under the Night Sky

By Amber Schiltz, Wildlife Educator What does nature mean to you? As a wildlife educator, I get to hear a variety of answers when I ask this question of both students and adults. For many, it means playing outside, climbing trees, looking for bugs and birds, or watching clouds float by. For others, nature is found when engaging with its bountiful resources through fishing or hunting, or getting our hands in the soil and planting our gardens. I find meaning …

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Catch these Game and Parks education events in May

NGPC news release logo

Nebraska Game and Parks Commission educators have scheduled interesting and engaging events for the curious in May. Here are several opportunities: Bird Crawl in Venture Parks is May 14 Migrate to the Platte River valley May 14 for a daylong birding adventure. To celebrate Nebraska Bird Month and International Migratory Bird Day, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is hosting Bird Crawl in the Venture Parks.  Registered participants will receive an itinerary to guide them, from 10 a.m. to 4 …

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Help document urban wildlife by participating in City Nature Challenge

City Nature Challenge logo

Nebraskans of all ages are invited to participate in the City Nature Challenge, a global event to find and document urban wildlife. The challenge, which is April 29 to May 8, is a chance to look for nature in urban areas and learn about the animal and plant life discovered there. Using the free iNaturalist app, participants will photograph wildlife and upload their observations to the app between April 29-May 2. They’ll then help identify observations between May 3-8. Wildlife …

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Five Trails to Hike This Summer

By Monica Macoubrie, Wildlife Education Specialist I recently saw the most incredible meme: It compared hiking with a naturalist versus hiking with someone who was there for physical activity. The naturalist finished the 1-mile hike in about 3 hours, while the person motivated by exercise finished in about 11 minutes. You may be wondering why the naturalist took so long to finish the hike. Well, if you have ever hiked with a naturalist, or someone who appreciates nature, you know …

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Turkey Talk with a Top Caller

Spring wild turkey hunting all about the “talk.” Really, it is about communication. You, the turkey hunter, make the sounds of a sexually appealing hen and the interested, aroused toms gobble back. Very simply, you are talking to that bird.  Now, what you are saying, how you are saying it and when you are saying it is the source of much discussion in turkey hunting circles. So, that being stated, I reached out to Douglas Herman of Wahoo, NE, a renown, …

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Remembering Dick Turpin

How to Tell a Story Calling Dick Turpin a hunter education coordinator, turkey call maker, conservation officer, entertainer, songwriter or any of his other titles fails to describe who he was — a person who made you feel good when he was around. Regardless of what hat Turpin was wearing when you met, you would forever remember one of his greatest gifts was that of a storyteller. Long-time staffers at Nebraskaland agree that while PG-rated Dick Turpin stories were good, …

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Go Explore summer camp spots still available

The Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Education Center still has openings for its five Lincoln-based summer camps that offer children the chance to explore the natural world and learn outdoor skills. The Go Explore camps are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with extended drop off and pick up hours available. The Go Explore: Counselor Training Camp is open to ages 14 and up, while the Survival, Hunting and Archery camps are open to ages 8-13. All camps …

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Hunting for Her Glass Slipper

Xa’nel Cribbs of Omaha went from learning how to shoot archery to harvesting her first deer in eight months. Not everyone has a family member or friend who can teach them about the outdoors. Even when there’s a strong interest, many struggle to find ways to gain the knowledge and skills to be successful. Xa’nel Cribbs of Omaha was one of those people. When she moved to Nebraska with her husband, Xa’nel began turning to the outdoors as a way …

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