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Nongame Bird Blog

What are these birds & what are they doing?

With the commotion of spring winding down, I am now able to take a breath and catch up on a few things, including adding a few posts to this blog.   Back on 5 May, I had a nice opportunity to capture a few photos of one of my favorite birds near Grafton, Fillmore County.  Buff-breasted Sandpipers, or Buffies as they are sometimes called, look rather plain from afar and nowadays they usually occur in agricultural fields during their brief …

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Kestrel update

Noticeably absent this year has been our kestrel cam.  Technical technological realities regrettably prevented us from providing our streaming video originating from inside their nest box this year.  The nest box is located on the north side of our headquarters building here in Lincoln.  Even though I am an NGPC insider, I also don’t have access to the video feed.  I know the adult kestrels have been around and presumably nesting, but I have not had any indication of how things have been going …

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Touchdown! Touchdown! Touchdown!

Earlier today (5/16) I wrote a blog post stating the game was all but over.  The apparent facts were indisputable and we were at the losing end.  The only chance was throwing a Hail Mary pass in desperation.  Beating the odds, our team came down with the ball only to score the winning touchdown.  In other words, one of the Peregrine Falcon eggs hatched late Monday evening.  The chick can be seen in the photo, below. It seems the saga …

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Has time run out?

I’m not real happy about typing another blog post about nothing, as in no news to report.   At this point, the facts are well known.   The window in which we expect at least one of the Capitol’s Peregrine Falcons’ eggs to hatch is closing by the minute.   In my blog post last week in which I calculated hatching probabilities for one or both eggs, I estimated a 0% probability an egg would hatch on 16 May and thereafter. …

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Time, decreasing probabilities and hope

So here we are on 12 May and there are no obvious signs either of the two remaining Peregrine Falcon eggs are hatching.   I originally stated I expected hatching would commence and/or occur during 7-12 May.  Over the weekend (7-8 May), the female disposed/ate three of the original five eggs (see this post and this post for more details).  Ally, the female falcon, and occasionally the male have continued incubating the two eggs leaving hope that a fluffball would emerge …

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More disappointment

In a blog post yesterday, I reported that two of the original five eggs disappeared (removed and/or eaten by the female falcon) from the nest box on the 18th floor of the Capitol.  Unfortunately, it happened again late Saturday and now there are only two eggs remaining.   Hopefully this trend does not continue and there will be something positive to report soon. The Falconcam webpage can be found HERE.  If you want to keep up with breaking Peregrine Falcon …

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Hatch watch 2016 – disappointing start

My calculations had 7-12 May as the time frame when the Capitol’s Peregrine Falcon’s eggs should hatch.  Events started happening just a bit earlier than I expected, but in a disappointing way.  Late yesterday, only four eggs were observed rather than the five eggs which the birds have been incubating for about a month.  This morning, only three eggs were present. It is not entirely clear what happened and what went wrong.  However, it does not come as a total …

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The roadside Prairie-Chicken incident

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

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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