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Kangaroose

As you may be aware, the spring migration of light geese (Snow and Ross’s Geese) is underway Nebraska, as is the Light Goose Conservation Order hunting period. But, as with a number of things in nature like migratory game birds, something strange has occurred amid the flocks of wild snow geese, according to hunters. A mythical, winged creature has emerged – a genetic mutation, if you will. It was spotted just recently in extreme southern Nebraska hopping around a decoy spread. The creature appears to be part snow goose and …

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Panhandle Passages: Chopper Time

From the rocky buttes of the Wildcat Hills near Gering to the evergreen-studded canyons near Bassett, a helicopter crew put in time for Nebraska’s big game conservation efforts during the past week and month. I’ve been fortunate to be up close and personal with some of their air time. Last week, the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission used the help of a contracted helicopter crew of California-based Native Range Capture Services to catch bighorn sheep and elk and provide the …

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Temporary Digs Downtown for Game and Parks Omaha Office

We want to get the word out to you that we at the Omaha Office of Game and Parks have moved downtown temporarily and will be relocating to a permanent site elsewhere in the city sometime this spring. That means we are no longer at 1212 Bob Gibson Blvd. next to Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. We are currently located in the Nebraska State Office Building at 1313 Farnam Street. You’ll find us on the 3rd floor of the building in Room 317 near the elevators. In the coming months, our …

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Great Plains Connections: Bald Eagles are Winter Wonders

Bald eagles are one of my favorite birds to view during the winter months – when ice covers the rivers and reservoirs eagles will search out any open areas of water to fish or they find places where an easy meal is available. Living near reservoirs that have inlets or spillways is an advantage for eagle viewers as those areas will attract these gorgeous big birds of prey. Finding areas to fish from is a must in the winter for …

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From the West: Great Lenses, Great Cameras

When I mention “great lenses, great cameras” I’m talking about the tremendous and continuing progress in camera and lens design and even the lower prices that make owning the new technologies possible. My son in Omaha is a devoted photographer and my source for the latest information, especially on the so-called “four thirds” and “micro four thirds” sensor size cameras and the trainloads of new lenses that will fit on most of the cameras. He even loaned a lens, a …

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2014 Fishing Forecast Available Statewide

LINCOLN – Anglers can start planning fishing vacations or researching their strategies for the year with the 2014 Fishing Forecast, a publication available from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. The publication contains fish sampling data, along with a forecast of where anglers may find large quantities and large sizes of certain fish in various waters across the state. Game and Parks biologists annually sample fish populations. Some of the largest bodies of waters are sampled every year, while other …

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Great Plains Connections: Chasing Sunsets

Every chance I get I’m out chasing the sunset – I’m hooked on chasing the setting sun. There is a little homework that must be done before the sun goes down to get the perfect image of a good sunset. I check the sky late in the afternoon to see if there is good cloud cover that will hopefully make a gorgeous reflection of the sun’s setting colors or clouds with interesting shapes in them – but not too many …

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A Whole Lot of Rough-legs Going On

Snowy Owls receive a lot of attention when they venture south to the conterminous U.S., as well they should.  However, there is another stunning Arctic-breeding raptor species that regularly travels south to places like Nebraska.  It generally receives little fanfare.  If you’ve traveled around the state recently (and were conscious), you’ve likely seen one or two, maybe 22.   The species I am referring to is the Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus).  Like Snowy Owls, numbers fluctuate from year to year. …

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Panhandle Passages: Tracking Cats

A new year and a new season. As you’ve probably heard by now, Nebraska’s first two permit holders for mountain lion season in the Pine Ridge were successful Thursday. The season has garnered a lot of attention, being Nebraska’s first. With photography equipment in hand, I accompanied Holden Bruce, the 16-year-old hunter from Franklin, one of the two permit holders. He came to northwest Nebraska with his father, Jeremy, and older brother, Tristan. We set out early New Year’s Day …

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Mallard X Northern Pintail hybrid

Sifting through large flocks of common species searching for uncommon or rare birds is a standard practice of birding, particularly during Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs) when one of the objectives is to rack up as many species as possible.   On Saturday, 28 December, on the North Platte CBC, my party (group of birders) was sifting through a couple thousand Mallards and several hundred Canada and Cackling Geese at Bowley’s Pond.  We were successful at finding a few Greater White-fronted and …

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