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Nongame Bird Blog

Cormorants nesting in Rainwater Basin

I was back birding in the Rainwater Basin on Saturday (18 July).  The most surprising find of the day was the discovery of two Double-crested Cormorant pairs with nests at a large wetland.  The nests appeared to be mostly completed.  One bird, though, was observed bringing sticks to its nest and the females on both nests were not fixated on nest contents.  Thus, I suspect no one has laid any eggs yet.  This observation represents the first known nesting by this …

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Jeepers – feather loss and bald birds

The Fourth of July has come and gone, and summer is now about doldrums and dog days.  You’ve raised your offspring and sent them on their way.  Now, a little “me time” is in order to improve your plumage.  Ok, maybe not so much for you, but for some of our familiar feathered friends, it is that time of year.  Maintaining a fine-looking plumage is not easy and feathers wear out.   Thus, all birds molt during their annual cycle to …

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Glossy Ibis nesting – a Nebraska first

The population increase and range expansion of the Glossy Ibis is one of the more interesting avian stories of the last quarter century.  Nebraska claimed it first documented record not that long ago in 1999.  In less than two decades since, Glossy Ibis have essentially become regular (annual) in occurrence in our state.  It is not unusual nowadays for multiple birds to be reported in a single season.  This species has also increased throughout the Great Plains and has been found nesting in …

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The upside down jewel of the prairie

With so much ornithology occurring in a Nebraska prairie in June, it is easy to become distracted.  A few bird species, though, capture one’s attention and won’t let go.  One of those species is the Bobolink, a bird  so marvelous it has been a subject of several poems (e.g., 1 2 3), including those penned by Emily Dickinson. My first memories of Bobolinks were as a young kid in the pastures around Sprick’s Pond, a local fishing hot spot in Washington County.  In addition …

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Double-brooding kestrels’ eggs hatch

With all the recent happening with Peregrine Falcons the American Kestrels have been overshadowed.  However, it is time to revisit our prolific pair.  The last time I blogged about them was at the end of May when they were both fledging offspring from their first clutch and starting their second one, at the same time.    The pair’s second clutch of the season ended up totaling five eggs.  Now, about a month later, four of the five eggs have hatched …

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And the Peregrine Falcon’s name is…….

And so here we are at the end.  It has been a fun Peregrine Falcon season.  Today’s ceremony at the Capitol announcing the winning entry for the “name-the-chick” contest was a great way to put an exclamation point on it all.  In fact, it made it special because it was about a lot more than Peregrine Falcons. We had a great “name-the-chick” contest this year, with 507 initial suggestions and then 1,560 votes cast to select the winner from five finalists.  After …

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Falcon name to be announced Friday at Capitol

After a great deal of anticipation and a little bit of a delay, I’m thrilled to broadcast we will be announcing the winning entry and introducing the winners of the Peregrine Falcon “name-the-chick” contest at a public event at the Capitol on Friday afternoon.   Specifically, we will be gathering for a brief ceremony on the north steps of the Capitol at 1 p.m.  In case of rain, we will move to the 14th floor rotunda. The young bird has fledged, appears to …

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Big Peregrine news gets bigger!

First, a little bit of housekeeping.  Our announcement regarding the winner of our “name-the-chick” contest may not occur today as previously scheduled.  It will happen soon, so stay tuned. Now….back to regular programming.    Last week, I blogged about the new Peregrine Falcon nest site at Omaha Public Power District’s (OPPD) power station in north Omaha (be sure to check out OPPD’s falcon webpage HERE).  There was also a nice story in the Omaha World-Herald.  In the post, I stated …

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Big Peregrine news – a new Nebraska nest!

So Nebraska only has two pairs of nesting Peregrine Falcons, correct?  Well, not anymore…… I was recently contacted by Laura King-Homan of the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) who informed me that they have a pair of Peregrine Falcons nesting on their smokestack at their power plant located in north Omaha.  I was aware they had placed a nest box on a smokestack years ago and had recently observed at least one adult Peregrine Falcon in the area, but the news …

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VOTE NOW: Name-the-chick finalists!

After receiving 507 submissions during the first phase of our “name-the-chick” contest, a select committee had the tremendous challenge of selecting finalists.  After gut-wrenching deliberations and fierce debate, the committee chose the five finalists.  With finalists selected, it is now time for “the people” to have the final word.  Below, I provide the finalists along with the explanation or justification as to why the eyas should receive the respective name.  Then, below this is the actual poll.  The finalists, in alphabetical order, …

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