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Conservation

Skunk Spawn

I was a little late getting home for supper the other night.  Many times I can get a lot done in the office after 5:00 p.m.. after the phone stops ringing.  As I parked my pickup on the street and walked to the front door, I heard a great horned owl hooting.  Now I live in Lincoln, within the city limits, but there are a lot of trees and apparently a great horned owl was in listening distance.  I woke …

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Tax Check-off Benefits Wildlife, Habitat Conservation

LINCOLN – Tax season provides a unique opportunity for Nebraskans to contribute to wildlife and habitat conservation. Line 42 on the 2013 state income tax form (Form 1040N) allows individuals to donate all or a part of their tax refund to the Wildlife Conservation Fund, ¬which focuses on saving Nebraska’s wildlife and wild places. “The check-off is one of the principal sources of state funding used to conserve more than 95 percent of fish and wildlife species that are considered …

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A Major Award

Our Fisheries Division here at the Nebraska Game & Parks Commission received some national recognition recently and I want to tell you about it.  Here is our news release: Game and Parks’ Fisheries staff was recognized by the Fisheries Administration Section (FAS) of the American Fisheries Society for incorporating fish and angler-friendly features into new reservoirs being constructed by Natural Resources Districts. The FAS annually selects the nation’s outstanding Sport Fish Restoration Program-funded projects in three categories: Management, Research, and …

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Late Season Luck

This morning I had the fortune of spending time afield with my good friend Dr. Scott  Hygnstrom, Animal Damage Control Professor at UNL.  We had a blast chasing late season pheasant and quail!  I am one of those goofballs that actually prefers late season bird hunting.  This last week of January could prove to be the best.  I have often heard hunters complain about late season birds being so jumpy and hard to hunt but more often I have found …

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Chickadees, Devastation, & the Long Road Back

A little over a decade ago, a novel disease was sweeping across North America from east to west.  In 2002, West Nile Virus (WNV) reached Nebraska and had immediate impacts.  Humans, livestock, and birds were susceptible to WNV and consequences were dire in some instances. As we all hopefully know, mosquitoes were and are WNV’s main transmission vector. Now, with more than a decade’s worth of experience and perspective, WNV has become part of life.   It remains dangerous, but we …

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Spotted…Again

Contributed by Nongame Bird Biologist Lauren Dinan As we are set to endure the coldest temperatures in years, “our” famous home grown Piping Plover was once again photographed on a warm beach.  Something to ponder as you shiver.  More importantly, these photographic reports document a bird’s  travels.  As you may remember from a post a few months ago, we work in cooperation with the Tern and Plover Conservation Partnership at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln School of Natural Resources in …

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Goose #1138-33826

Yesterday afternoon, I harvested a large Canada goose with a leg band on it. How cool, I thought! How fortunate I was to bag a goose with a leg band! That’s never happened to me! This was Goose #1138-33826. Waterfowl bands are treasured collectibles by hunters. But, far more than being a collectible item to be cleaned up and put on a duck or goose call lanyard, reporting band numbers from ducks and geese is vital! This information gives waterfowl …

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Panhandle Passages: Scanning for Deer

I remember when a large retail chain opened a store near my hometown and brought with it something amazing. To a child such as me, bar code scanner technology seemed magical. No longer did we have to wait for the cashier to hand input each item – all that was required was a simple beep. The same technology received positive feedback last week at a place far from the express lane– a northwestern district public deer meeting at Chadron. The …

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Bald Eagle nest numbers take unexpected dip in 2013

Bald Eagle nest monitoring is an annual project of the Nongame Bird Program.  Fortunately, we are assisted by numerous partners and individuals such as the National Park Service-Missouri River National Recreational River, the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Bald Eagles bred in the state historically but were absent as a breeding species for at least a century, if not longer.   Not all that long ago, Bald Eagles were state and federally listed as …

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Christmas Bird Counts – A Tradition Like No Other

I, like many other dedicated birders, will be out in the elements this upcoming Saturday searching for birds as Christmas Bird Count (CBCs) season kick off.  CBCs are several things:  serious birding, volunteerism, a little bit of socializing, a dash of competition, citizen science and just getting outside during a season when it can be a little too easy to find excuses not to venture out.  CBCs were initiated in 1900 by Frank Chapman as an alternative to Christmas side …

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