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Nongame Bird Blog

Cottonwoods – disappearing along lower Platte River?

The sound of rustling cottonwood leaves blowing in the breeze on a summer’s day along the lower Platte River is commonplace, but will this always be the case?  Every summer since 2006 I have spent time during the summer on the lower Platte River conducting field work on Piping Plovers and Interior Least Terns.  Much of that time was spent in a kayak.  During my many treks down the river I had time to observe and ponder my surroundings.   …

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NPR features success of the TPCP

In case you missed it, there was an excellent piece on the radio this week featuring the work of the Tern and Plover Conservation Partnership (TPCP).  The TPCP works with Interior Least Terns and Piping Plovers in eastern Nebraska at sand and gravel mines and lakeshore housing developments in eastern Nebraska.  Interior Least Terns are state and federally listed as endangered and Piping Plovers are state and federally listed as threatened.   One reason the radio segment is noteworthy is because …

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Peregrine Falcon after hours rescue

I received a call after hours Friday evening from the State Patrol at the Capitol Building informing me that a Peregrine Falcon was trapped on the 14th Floor observation deck.  This is the area that is open to the public where folks can go out and view the city.  I assembled myself and made the short trek over to the Capitol.  The photos, below, explain the subsequent events. Again, ol’ 19/K was not injured and can hopefully put the episode behind …

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Four days birding western Nebraska

I was off last Friday and Monday and took a four-day weekend birding trip to western Nebraska.  The end of August and early September is one the most exciting times to go birding because migration peaks for many species, particularly passerines (songbirds).  Once we move past early September, the number of species leaving our part of the world for warmer climes increases quickly .  Many species like orioles, kingbirds and warblers will soon be all but summer memories.  Fall migration occurs in …

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Kestrels defy odds – pull off second brood

It has been a while since I blogged about our American Kestrels and their late-season breeding attempt.  It now appears the pair is on the verge of success.  As kestrel-watchers already know, only one of the four eggs in the pair’s second clutch hatched.  The lone chick has grown quickly; the bird’s fluffy white appearance is no more.  The young female resembles an adult American Kestrel and I expect it will leave its nestbox in the next few days. As wrote in …

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Four plants for hummingbirds

In my recent post about attracting hummingbirds, I briefly mentioned how incorporating certain plants into your yard will help attract hummingbirds.  I stated it was perhaps the subject of another blog post, and so it is.  Below, I list four plants that hummingbirds seem to favor based on my experience.  Their hummingbird appeal is just one factor in my determination.  I also considered ease/difficulty of growing here in Nebraska and also just my own personal preference for the plants’ aesthetic appeal.  I only consider …

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Piping Plovers returning to Gulf Coast

Contributed by Lauren Dinan, Nongame Bird Biologist After spending the last three months nesting here in Nebraska, Piping Plovers have migrated south. Several of our lower Platte River plovers have already been re-sighted at their wintering sites along the Gulf Coast. These observations include a re-sighting of Erwin, our famous Piping Plover.  Erwin is famous because he has been observed numerous times in winter in Florida. Erwin was banded as a three-day old chick at a lakeshore housing development in Dodge County, Nebraska, in June …

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More on White-winged Doves

My recent post about White-winged Doves generated some excellent feedback.  The feedback included a few additional White-winged Dove reports.  It became apparent, however, there is some uncertainty regarding whether some doves people are observing are indeed White-winged Doves or something else.  The something else seems to typically be Eurasian Collared-Doves, which is a non-native species that arrived in the state in 1997 and rapidly increased and expanded its range.  Eurasian Collared-Doves are now common and even abundant in many areas …

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Only one

It appears our American Kestrel’s are encountering less success on their second nesting.  The first egg from the clutch of four hatched on 24 July.  The expectation was the others should of hatch in succession.  Four days later, the other three eggs have not hatched.  It is probable that the other three will not hatch. Hopefully we’ll see the single chick make it.  It is important to remember that double-brooding by this species is not common.  Thus, this second nesting …

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Kestrel eggs hatching – again!

Back on 7 May I posted a brief bit about the American Kestrel eggs hatching.  It is time to do it again.  The first American Kestrel egg of the pair’s second clutch has hatched.  Below are screens shot from mid-morning (24 July).  The chick is still wet in the shots.  Once it dries, it will take on the appearance of a white fluffball. The other eggs should also hatch soon.   The KestrelCam can be viewed HERE.  Click on the …

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