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Attracting hummingbirds – it’s time

This blog post was originally published on August 3rd, 2014.  On Sunday afternoon, I observed my first Ruby-throated Hummingbird of the fall migration.  Thus, bringing it back as a reminder that it is indeed time to put out a hummingbird feeder if you have not already done so.    I stated on this blog three years ago I get excited when the end of July rolls around because it represents the unofficial start of fall hummingbird season in Nebraska.  If you …

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White-winged Doves having banner year

White-winged Doves are one of a handful of bird species rapidly increasing in Nebraska.  The dove is a native to the American Southwest, but has been increasing in numbers and expanding its range for decades.  Nebraska had its first documented occurrence in 1994 and by the end of the 20th Century there were three more records.  The number of reports continued to increase during the 21st Century.  This is nothing new and I’ve blogged before (here and here) about White-winged …

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No miracles – Peregrine nesting unsuccessful

Unfortunately, it is safe to conclude the 2017 nesting attempt by the Capitol’s Peregrine Falcons is unsuccessful.  This is not an unexpected outcome after the pair abandoned their eggs for 2-3 days in late April.  The pair has experienced reduced egg fertility in recent years and this may have also contributed to the lack of hatching success this year  Unlike the 2016 attempt, there are no last minute surprises or miracles whereby at least one egg hatches. The Peregrine Falcons are currently down …

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Mega-rarity: Brown Booby at Harlan Co. Lake

On Tuesday morning I found myself in Sioux County on a late spring/early summer birding trip with my wife when I received a text about a possible Brown Booby observed over the Memorial Day weekend at Harlan County Lake near Alma. Brown Boobies are seabirds, typically seen on or near oceans.  Nebraska is a long way from any ocean.  So, the report had to be bogus, right?  Well, the observer and text was from Jeff Drahota who observed the bird …

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It’s May – where are the warblers?

Birders wait all winter for May to arrive because spring migration peaks during this month.  Among the many avian highlights are the warblers.  Warblers are small songbirds and there are 30+ species that regularly arrive in Nebraska in spring, primarily during May.  Some, like American Redstarts and Yellow Warblers, breed in our state while others, such as Magnolia and Chestnut-sided Warblers, are headed farther north and are only passing through Nebraska.   A few warbler species are nondescript, but other species are …

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Skeptical, but letting things play out

As most falcon-watchers know, the Peregrine Falcons have resumed incubating their eggs after abandoning them for about two days at the end of April.  The two days or so the eggs were left exposed to the elements were rainy and chilly.  At the time, when the birds were gone, that appeared to be it – the end of the 2017 nesting cycle.   Is that still the case? My understanding is that the falcons more or less commenced incubation on …

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Nebraska’s other Peregrine Falcons

The local resident Peregrine Falcons in Lincoln and Omaha are well-known and even famous, but this time of year there are other Peregrine Falcons in Nebraska.  The additional falcons are migrants passing through between wintering areas well to the south of us and breeding sites in the far north.   I’ve seen a few of these migrants this spring, including one sitting in a soybean field on Monday (1 May) a few miles south of Beatrice in Gage County.  A couple …

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Another shocker: eggs abandoned

In another unexpected twist, the Capitol’s Peregrine Falcons appear to have abandoned their five eggs shortly after they completed their clutch.  The pair had just welcomed their fifth and final egg late on 27 April or early on 28 April.   Events seemed to be playing out as expected as the birds’ commenced the month-long incubation period.  Then, inexplicably, the falcons left the eggs unattended Sunday (30 April) morning in the cold and rainy weather.  Both birds have essentially been …

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Egg #5

The Peregrine Falcons welcomed egg #5 either very late on 27 April or early on 28 April. The end of April has traditionally been the period when we would expect eggs to begin hatching rather than time when the birds are completing their clutch.  The increasing size of the clutch certainly increases the odds that one or more will hatch.  This has to be it, right?  There won’t be a sixth…will there? Good birding!

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Egg #4

The Peregrine Falcons welcomed another egg. It is not clear when precisely the fourth egg was laid since the birds have been incubating regularly since the third egg was laid. Is this it?  To find out, visit our Falconcam by clicking HERE. Good birding!

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